All is not lost. Tiger Woods can still shoot under par. The sun will come out Saturday and Sunday. With a second round 68, Woods is in sixth place at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Invitational, poised for a weekend charge on a course where he has six victories. Can the stars align?
The 68 could have been better, according to Woods.
“I left a lot of putts dead center short,” he said immediately after play. “It could have been a pretty special round.”
Woods counted five putts that he just did not hit hard enough, and if they had dropped, he would have posted a 63 and taken the lead from Spencer Levin. With half the field still out on the course, Levin’s lead may not be safe because conditions are calmer than Thursday’s 29 MPH wind gusts.
Part of the reason for Woods’ success may be the putter which he introduced at Doral and then tweaked for Bay Hill.
“We softened the grooves up to make sure it’s not as quick, as I said, and I wanted something more suited for faster greens,” he explained. Augusta National, everyone immediately thought. “It’s coming off very similar to my Cameron and releasing obviously how I like it.”
Woods said he was able to control his trajectory today. He was surprised that the greens were a little slow.
“They must have soaked them pretty good last night because balls were holding. They were spinning back a little bit, very different from yesterday,” he said.
He birdied the 18th, rolling in a 53-footer from the fringe, and the ninth, a 23-footer, also from the edge. Their group was on the clock on his final hole, the ninth, which Woods said resulted in a terrible 8-iron second shot, but he made birdie anyway.
The greens, which are new, are spiking up, according to Woods.
“Dustin (Johnson) and Gary (Woodland) got behind a couple Mr. Everests out there, and unfortunately, they couldn’t do anything about it.”
His memory of what the greens should do is out the window. Nevertheless, he felt he was adjusting to them, and that his game was rounding into shape.
“We are trying to build toward the first major, and that’s kind of how my game is kind of headed,” he added. “It’s building and it’s coming.”