Tour Report: Tiger’s 68 leaves him in contention

Tiger eagles No. 16

Tiger Woods hits his 240-yard approach shot on the par-5 16th hole to 48 feet then drains his putt for eagle.

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

BETHESDA, Md. — The highlight of Tiger Woods’ round Friday at the AT&T National was a 48-foot eagle putt, but the most important shots of his day were a couple of early par saves that kept him in contention heading to the weekend at Congressional.

“The pars at 14 and 15 were something I needed to have happen,” said Woods, who opened on the back nine and shot a scrambling 68 to get to 2 under for the tournament.

The next hole he reached the green in two and drained the aforementioned eagle putt, which broke left then right before disappearing into the cup.

“I got more out of my round, and on a golf course like this, you’re not going to hit it perfect all day, it’s just too difficult,” Woods said. “You’re going to have to make some saves. Today I did.”

He also avoided trouble most of the day.

Though Woods hit just seven fairways and 11 greens for a second straight day, he had just one bogey on the card.

He also made two birdies coming in with one on the fifth hole and another on No. 8, hitting his approach shots to inside 7 feet both times.

Scoring was easier on Friday compared to the opening round when Congressional played more than 2 1/2 strokes over par, but the weather wasn’t. Temperatures were in the high 90s for much of Woods’ round, and the heat index had climbed to 104 by the time Woods was done.

”It’s just one of those days where you just stay patient,” Woods said. “You shoot something in the 60s, and I think that would have been a good score. I thought was a very good score. I’m right there.”

It doesn’t hurt that Woods is one of the more fit players in the game, too.

”I think it’s one of the reasons why I had success at Southern Hills, because I felt physically fit, didn’t have a problem with it,” he said. “I’ve played some good tournaments over the years in Malaysia and other places where it’s hot, and certainly fitness, running all those miles and lifting all those weights, it comes into play when you get days like this.”