Woods Rides Fast Start to Top of Leaderboard
Dec. 2, 2011
By Mark Soltau

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A pair of eagles led Tiger Woods to a 5-under 67 to leave him alone at the top after two rounds

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Tiger Woods rode another fast start to the top of the leaderboard Friday and has three-stroke cushion after two rounds of the $5 million Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

A four-time winner of the tournament, Woods fired a 5-under-par 67, a round that included two eagles, and has a 36-hole score of 8-under 136.

First-round leader K.J. Choi of South Korea and Matt Kuchar share second place at 5-under 139, followed by Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan at 140.

"It's probably the highest score I could have shot today," Woods said afterward. "I really didn't miss a shot."

For the second-straight day, Woods burned up the front nine with a 3-under 33. He eagled the par-5 second hole, knocking a 5-iron second shot within four feet of the cup.

However, the turning point of his round was probably the 446-yard par-4 seventh. Coming off a three-putt bogey on the previous hole, Woods came up short of the seventh green with his approach shot and hit a poor chip from thick grass, leaving a 16-foot par putt. He buried it, then birdied the tough par-3 eighth to maintain his momentum.

Woods posted his second eagle at the par-5 11th, nestling a 4-iron 14 feet from the hole and then pouring in the putt. All told, he played the five par-5s in 6-under.

His advantage would be larger except for a double-bogey at the water-protected 189-yard par-3 15th hole. Woods flushed an 8-iron right at the flag, but a gust of wind knocked it down and the ball caromed off fronting rocks into the hazard.

"Unfortunately I caught the wrong gust at the right time," he said.

Choi fared even worse at 15, carding a 7, and finished with a 73.

Woods, Kuchar and Johnson shared the low round of the day. Kuchar made seven birdies and two bogeys, while Johnson reeled off six consecutive birdies on holes sixth through 11 against only one bogey.

After battling strong winds Thursday, players welcomed mostly calm conditions Friday. More of the same is expected for the final two rounds.