Tiger Woods 5 Strokes Back After WGC Bridgestone Invitational 2018 Friday Play

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2018

AKRON, OH - AUGUST 03:  Tiger Woods plays his shot from the second tee during World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational - Round Two at Firestone at Firestone Country Club South Course on August 3, 2018 in Akron, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Tiger Woods fired a two-under 68 in Friday's second round of the 2018 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to put himself firmly in contention heading into the weekend at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. 

Woods, who's seeking his first PGA Tour win since the 2013 edition of the Bridgestone Invitational, finished the round with four birdies and two bogeys. He now sits at six under for the event, which is five strokes behind the lead trio of Justin Thomas, Ian Poulter and Tommy Fleetwood after 36 holes.

The 14-time major champion has won this event a record eight times. No other golfer has captured the title more than once in its 19-year history.

Woods posted his only bogey of the first round in his final hole of the day, so there was cause for concern when he hit a wayward tee shot leading to a bogey on the opening hole Friday.

The 42-year-old California native bounced back in a significant way, though. He tallied three birdies over his next four holes to start climbing the leaderboard.

He couldn't hop back aboard the birdie train throughout the rest of the round.

Woods' iron play remained strong, allowing him to hit 72.2 percent of the greens in regulation, but he found just 50 percent of the fairways and his putter failed to catch fire. The end result was even-par golf over his last 13 holes of the day.

Here's a look at some highlights from his second round:

Justin Ray of Golf Channel provided some historical perspective:

The PGA Tour passed along his stats from Friday:

Woods is still likely going to need a super-low round either Saturday or Sunday to hunt down his first victory in five years. Firestone has yielded good scoring conditions, so being stuck in neutral like the eight-time champ was during the second half of Friday won't be good enough.

Tiger's biggest key will be his putter. He failed to convert his mid-range birdie looks in the second round. That must change starting on moving day in order to get in contention late Sunday.

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