Rory McIlroy began Friday's action with a one-stroke lead over Italy's Matteo Manassero at the 2014 Open Championship in Merseyside, England. Can he hold on, or will he have another second-round swoon as he has had in the past?
The Golf Channel's Jason Sobel gives us the particulars:
I don't mean to be a downer here, but the last time Rory McIlroy led The Open after one round, he shot 80 the next day.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) July 17, 2014
If you can't watch Friday's action and you're looking for a way to keep up with the leaders, here's a real-time account of the leaderboard:
Tiger Woods was solid on Thursday. He produced a three-under 69 and was just three shots behind McIlroy heading into the second round. Woods seemed confident when he spoke after his round concluded on Thursday.
Per ESPN's Bob Harig, Woods said:
I knew I could do it. That's why I was telling you guys it was so important for me to play at Congressional. The fact that I was able to recover every day, and the fact that I was stronger, more explosive the more days I played.
I'm only going to get better from that point. And I'm getting stronger, I'm getting faster, I'm getting more explosive. The ball is starting to travel again. And those are all positive things.
The Winner Will Be...
With Woods playing so well on Thursday and carrying the confidence he seemingly has, he is the pick to win it all. It doesn't hurt that the tournament is being played at a venue where he had success back in 2006.
Also, the players who figure to provide the most competition for him have all shown a penchant for folding under pressure.
McIlroy's struggles are well documented. Even world No. 1 Adam Scott has his own demons at The Open Championship.
He has blown huge leads on final day of the tournament on two occasions. This is the perfect spot for Woods to capture his 15th major championship.
Woods has that look in his eye again. He finally looks to be free of nagging physical issues, and he's far removed from other distractions. Just enough people have written him off as well.
These are the circumstances in which champions prove their mettle.
Don't be surprised if he wins this weekend and puts together a monster finish to the 2014 season. Buckle up.