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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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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 Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2020 RSM Classic

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GolfWRX is live from Sea Island Golf Club in St,. Simons Island, Georgia for the RSM Classic.

Coming the week after the Masters, plenty of players from the tournament in Augusta are making their way 3.5 hours South to the Davis Love III-hosted event.

We have six general galleries of photos for you to check out as well as new shafts from UST Mamiya and a welcome resurrection of two decade-old White Hot putter models.

General Galleries

Other Galleries

See what GolfWRXers and join the discussion in the forums: 2020 RSM Classic WITB Photos- discussion

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Photos from the 2020 Houston Open

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GolfWRX is live from the Vivint Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course, where players who, well, like to play before majors are playing (including Mav McNealy with some vintage Nike blades in the featured image).

The likes of Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson will be making their final tune-ups before next week’s test at Augusta National.

On the subject of tuning, players who will be competing at ANGC are getting their bags dialed and those who won’t are free to experiment as they start to consider their 2021 artillery.

General galleries

Special galleries

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Interesting photos from the Zozo Championship

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This week is the Zozo Championship at Sherwood Golf Club, and with most of the worlds top golfers including Tiger Woods playing and prepping for the November Masters, there is a lot going on around the range when it comes to gear and testing.

As a reminder, you can check out all of our photos in the GolfWRX forums.

New Fourteen irons and wedges

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The irons are a throwback to a classic “channel back” style iron with mass positioned towards the top and bottom of the face to increase vertical stability of the blade while also maintaining feel.

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Justin Rose with Artisan lob wedge

The little shop from Texas continues to make big waves with more wedges spotted on tour every week including in former world number 1 Justin Rose.

Xander Schauffele’s new Apex irons and testing putters on Quintic

Xander’s prototype Callaway Apex irons look a lot like the newly released 2021 X-Forged irons but with obvious Apex branding. We also can’t forget about putting, and it’s cool to see a Quintic high-speed camera system on the practice green getting players dialed in to launch conditions just like how they would for a driver.

Ricky using older generation Cobra Amp Cell Pro Irons

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If there is one thing pros love, it’s a set of older irons—they’re the golf equivalent of putting on a pair of comfy broken-in jeans. For Ricky and his custom Amp Cell Pro’s with tungsten toe inserts, there must be some magic there because he has previously used multiple newer sets of irons but continues to gravitate towards these.

Hideki Maruyama testing new Bettinardi putter

Hideki isn’t someone to shy away from testing putters, and this week he was spotted testing one of the new Bettinardi putters that debuted last week in Las Vegas at Shadow Creek.

Pros are “just like us” – Justin Thomas and Mac Hughes edition

Yes, tour pros are just like us except for the fact that they are exceptional golfers, but even JT likes help in his long game and has a Titleist T300 3-iron in the bag, and when it comes to breakfast Mackenzie Hughes happens to like ketchup with his breakfast sandwich—although personally, I’m anti-ketchup when it comes to breakfast sandwiches.

Mickelson testing older X-Hot 3Deep

We’ve heard rumblings, of Champions Tour terminator Phil Mickelson testing 47.5″ drivers in the name of speed and distance, but as a way to also have a “fairway finder” it appears that he is contemplating putting his old X-Hot 3Deep in play. (Being able to identify a multi-generations old fairway wood from a distance based on its paint scheme is part of the reason we are WRX)

Gary Woodland testing Ping G425 driver

With the launch of the Ping G425 woods on tour a few weeks ago, it’s no surprise to see more players testing them in prep for the Masters, and for the fact that, they are the next evolution of the well-loved Ping G410—Gary Woodland is no exception.

 

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