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Tiger Woods (7-under, T5) heads into the weekend in contention at the Hero

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The dust has settled at Albany in the Bahamas after an electric round-2 at the Hero World Challenge on Friday, and Tiger Woods is sitting at 7-under par (T5), five shots back of leader Charley Hoffman (-12). For as exciting as Tiger’s second round was, however, it could have been so much more.

Woods started off his day 3-under through 4 holes — he was blazing hot, firing at pins and looking comfortable doing it. He then rounded the turn after making eagle on No. 9 to shoot 31 (5-under), and he took over the outright lead. Golf Twitter was just about ready to collapse in on itself via GIFs, memes and just general excitement. Click here to get a taste of golf Twitter at its peak.

He then made birdie on the par-5 11th hole, getting to 9-under, and it was simply impossible to not start thinking “what if.” What if he wins… what if he’s actually, like really back… what if he wins The Masters?! Rational thoughts were not prevailing.

Woods then came back to earth, bogeying the par-3 12th after mixing a horrendous read with awful distance control on a 20-footer for birdie, and missed the 9-foot comebacker. He made another bogey on the closing 18th hole after drawing a chunky lie in the waste bunker off the tee, and failing to convert his eventual, lengthy par attempt.

So, in the end, it was a 4-under-par 68 on Friday; far better than anyone’s expectations before the tournament started, but OH, what could have been.

But that’s not to say Friday wasn’t mostly positive. Actually, it was almost all positives on a day where the world hung on every single shot. Woods essentially ended the speculation that chipping yips still loomed. Yes, he chose to putt while off the green in an obvious chip situation on hole No. 3, but he hit a barrage of great short-game shots throughout the round, and even chose to chip on No. 17 while ON the green… he nipped it perfectly and saved par. That decision is simply not one a golfer makes who’s hiding the chipping yips.

He also continues to show speed — consistently hitting at least 179 mph of ball speed off the tee — and prowess with his fairway woods and long irons while going at par-5s in two. His irons and wedges are surprisingly dialed in (for a guy who hasn’t competed in 10 months) and a putter that, for the most part, looks like the Tiger of old.

Woods has silenced critics, proven himself yip-free, and showcased power and the ability to score. There’s two questions left on the table for the weekend: 1) Can he remain healthy through 4 rounds under tournament pressure, and 2) Can he actually win this thing?!

Related: See the clubs in Tiger’s bag this week

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. kevin

    Dec 2, 2017 at 11:46 am

    He is the GOAT I love when Bones actually said he was arguably the greatest player of all time…..I wonder what Phil thought of that?

  2. Andrew

    Dec 2, 2017 at 1:03 am

    Save it for the Farmers. Let’s see how he’s really doing then.

  3. Bobby Wallace

    Dec 1, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Good for Tiger!

  4. Underachiever

    Dec 1, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Tursky keep bringing the Tiger love!

  5. Mr. Replier Guy

    Dec 1, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Some funky blast-lags, but yeah, some shockingly great stuff today.
    There’s an orthopedic surgeon who’s feeling good about himself right now.

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Tour News

Tour Rundown: Sangmoon Bae is headed back to the PGA Tour

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The schedulers may have whiffed with Tour Championship and Ryder Cup in back-to-back weeks, but that’s what we have on the horizon. As the 2017-18 PGA Tour season comes to a close, and with it, the Web.Com Tour playoffs, number one on everyone’s mind is next season: where will I play? Do I have status? Some of those questions were answered last week, so let’s run down the answers to the questions, in this week’s Tour Rundown.

Bae back on PGA Tour after Web.Com playoff win

The oldest event on the Web.Com Tour was the site of Sang-moon Bae’s comeback completion. Two years of mandatory military service in South Korea did little to derail the 32-year old’s professional career. Bae birdied the 72nd hole to hold off his challengers, including the eponymous Anders Albertson, to win the Albertson’s Boise Open at 19-under. Bae was a stroke off the first-round lead, then moved into a first-place tie after 36-holes. He continued to advance, seizing the 54-hole lead. Albertson caught fire on Sunday, making 5 birdies in his opening 9 holes. After a bogey stall at the 11th, Albertson birdied 5 of the closing 8 holes. Roberto Diaz of Mexico was tied with Bae after round 3, but a Sunday 68 dropped him back to 5th place. Bae guaranteed a return to the 2018-19 PGA Tour with his Idaho triumph.

Wu works wonders in Holland for KLM victory

Like Bae, Ashun Wu of China birdied the 72nd hole at The Dutch club, host site of The KLM championship on the European Tour. Like Bae, his closest pursuer (Chris Wood) failed to match it, and Wu walked away with his third career European tour title. Wood held a 1-stroke lead over Wu after 54 holes, and the battle to see which “W” would emerge with the “W,” came down to the final 9 holes. Wood played well, making 3 birdies in the inward half. They were sandwiched around a double-bogey at the 12th, and the Englishman closed with 5 pars to finish at 15-under. Wu’s card included only one hiccough, a front-nine bogey, and he was a bit more clutch when it counted. The victory moved Wu inside the top 50, in the season-long Race To Dubai.

Stanford claims first LPGA major title at Evian

For her entire career, Angela Stanford has been a fixture in the top 5 of major championships. It has been a wonder that she did not claim one of them until the fall of 2018. In France, Stanford mounted a final-round comeback, overcame 3rd round-leader Amy Olson, and captured the Evian Championship by one shot over Olson and 3 others. Stanford opened with 72 on Thursday, then dived into the 60s with abandon. Rounds of 64-68-68 brought her to 12-under par. The Texan was able to keep her head, despite an eagle-double-birdie stretch on holes 15-17. Austin Ernst had a clean card on Sunday, but 3 birdies were 1 shy of victory. Mo Martin also had 3 birdies on day 4, but 2 bogeys brought her back to 11-under with Ernst. Sei Young Kim and Olson both went above par in the 4th round, after playing marvelous golf through the first 3 days. Despite their struggles, they also finished in that second-place tie.

Broadhurst claims third title of PGA Tour Champions

Paul Broadhurst won his first 2 Champions title in 2016. After taking a break in 2017, the Englishman returned with abandon in 2018. Wins at the 2-man Bass Pro and the May Senior PGA were followed this week with a triumph in Michigan. Broadhurst overcame a surging Brandt Jobe, who birdied 5 of his firs 6, back-9 holes, before he stalled. Jobe reached 13-under to claim second place alone. Broadhurst finished in style, with birdie at the last, for a 2-shot win.

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Popular Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2018 European Tour Properties Senior Classic

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Thanks to photographer Mladen Aleksandrov, GolfWRX was live from the 2018 European Tour Properties Senior Championship at Lighthouse Resort & Spa in Balchik, Bulgaria.

For those who don’t know, this tour is essentially the equivalent to America’s Champions Tour, and this event hosted legends such as Ian Woosnam and Jarmo Sandelin. Magnus P Atlevi took home this year’s title, winning by three shots over Stephen Dodd.

Check out our photos from the event, including a bit of culture and a bit of golf equipment. Enjoy!

Photo Galleries

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News

Tiger Woods puts his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 back in the bag at the BMW Championship

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Tiger Woods and his beloved flatstick have ended their separation and are once again an item. Woods put his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 back in the bag for the first round of the BMW Championship. The putter, which Woods has used for 13 of his 14 major championship victories, had been on the shelf since the Quicken Loans National in June.

We hinted this was a possibility earlier this week after spotting Woods practicing with both his famed Newport 2 and a TaylorMade Juno. Woods arrived at Aronomink without the TaylorMade Ardmore 3 he’s been using for five events prior to last week’s Dell Technologies Championship.

Woods used the Juno at TPC Boston to less than satisfying results: Woods was 36th in the field in strokes gained putting and was particularly poor during the final round when he needed 33 putts and lost 1.352 strokes to the field on the greens.

Woods, who is 50th in strokes gained: putting this season, put the Cameron in play for a nine-hole practice round Tuesday.

 

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