Tiger Woods bounced back with a three-under 69 in the second round of the 2018 Hero World Challenge on Friday at Albany Golf Course in New Providence, Bahamas.
Woods, who was tied for 16th in the 18-player field after a one-over first round, tallied five birdies and a double bogey in Round 2. The performance allowed him to move up the leaderboard into a tie for 13th with the afternoon wave of play ongoing.
The 42-year-old superstar is a five-time champion of the event, which benefits his Tiger Woods Foundation.
Woods finished the 2018 PGA Tour season with a victory in September's Tour Championship, his first win since August 2013 and the 80th PGA Tour triumph of his legendary career.
The Stanford product hadn't showcased the same form in recent weeks, though. Both he and Phil Mickelson struggled in Capital One's The Match last week, which Mickelson won on the 22nd hole, and Tiger's mediocre play continued in the opening round Thursday.
Woods said after Round 1 he was fighting through some ankle pain.
"I've struggled with my ankles over the last few months. Still the same issues," he told reporters. "They've just been sore for months, just wear and tear."
Todd Lewis of Golf Channel provided a further update Friday:
Woods' biggest problem in the second round wasn't his health, however, it was his putting.
The 14-time major champion missed several makeable birdie putts, including a couple from inside five feet, that prevented a good round from potentially turning into a terrific one.
Tiger did well to take advantage of the par fives, birding four of the five on the picturesque course, and nearly finished with a bogey-free round before things went haywire on the 18th.
His tee shot found a bush in the sand, and he never recovered en route to a closing double. It marred an otherwise solid ball-striking day and prevented him from finishing inside the top 10—he'd actually moved inside the top five for a short time during the round.
Ultimately, Woods' play on the first 17 holes looked more like what fans witnessed in the second half of last season when it seemed like he consistently fought his way into contention on the weekends. That's a good sign, regardless of what happens over the next two days in The Bahamas.
Woods is going to need a strong moving-day effort Saturday in order to give himself a realistic chance of taking home another title in the final round. The star-studded field doesn't leave much margin for error after his lackluster start Thursday.