Published: Sun, February 25, 2018
Medical | By Vernon Walton

Tiger Woods' return to form leaves his biggest critic open-mouthed

Tiger Woods' return to form leaves his biggest critic open-mouthed

Woods has encountered far worse in recent times than the a bite from the Bear Trap - PGA National's infamous set of three holes from the 15th - but what transpired there stung nonetheless.

He had moved into the top 10 with five pars to open the back nine before his tee shot at the par-three 15th found the water.

The 42-year-old bounced back immediately with a seven-foot gain at the fourth to get back to level par, with Woods delivering a string of pars to stay in touch with the early leaders. He duly holed out from 12ft for a superb birdie.

Woods continued his solid showing by firing a 71 that sees him in a tie for 14th at one over.

Tommy Fleetwood, who won the Race to Dubai on the European Tour a year ago, grinded out a 68.

"I played quite steady my front nine, which was the back nine, then I just scrambled my way around the front nine", said Noren, a nine-times European Tour victor who lost a playoff at the Farmers Insurance Open last month.

"I'm so happy I'm not in pain anymore, but I'm fused, so it's a little bit different", he said leading up to the tournament, per Steve DiMeglio of USA Today. "I never thought he would be in this shape again", Chamblee said.

"I feel a lot more confident in most areas of my game", Thomas said when asked how his game has progressed since missing the cut in his first Honda Classic in 2015.

Webb Simpson, who held a share of the first-round lead, is a shot back along with Tommy Fleetwood, Russell Henley and Rory Sabbatini.

With two more rounds of golf to go at the Honda Classic, the leaderboard is incredibly tight.

On the day, Woods found nine of 14 fairways, hit 13 of 18 greens and took 29 putts.

"I was unfortunately so physically debilitated I could not compete", he added. "I feel like I've made some nice tweaks". But the key is to keep hitting balls onto the greens and give myself looks at it. "Especially here with the wind blowing this hard, I felt that was very important; it was also very comforting, too, because I live here and I practise here, and it's always blowing like this".

Former world No. 1 and four-time major victor Rory McIlroy - playing in his current hometown - also ended the round two over alongside Garcia. A three-putt bogey on the par-4 16th was next, but Tiger rebounded with that birdie on 17, surrounded by water and the track's most hard hole. After not firing on some of his favorite tracks on the West Coast, he opened with 69 in the tough conditions at the Champion Course. "Pretty much the preparation for everything but what we want it to be".

List tallied five birdies and one bogey Friday to post the lowest score among the 141 participants who remained from the field of 144.

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