ST. LOUIS – Tiger Woods isn’t assured of making the cut at the PGA Championship just yet. But his Friday performance went a long way to ensuring that he’ll be playing in the third and fourth rounds.
Woods was 3-under through the first seven holes of his second round on Friday before a weather delay stopped the round. The delay happened at 3:35 p.m. and the tournament announced approximately two hours later that play was over for the day. Woods and playing partners Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy will start Saturday morning on the fairway at No. 8.
Woods cards 3 birdies
After parring the first hole, Woods had consecutive birdies on hole Nos. 2 and 3. He made a 14-foot birdie on 2 and played No. 3 perfectly. He hit his tee shot to within six feet to leave himself an easy birdie to move to 2-under.
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Woods also birdied the par-4 fifth hole.
His most impressive putt of the day came at No. 6, another par-3. Woods hit his tee shot in the bunker and didn’t hit a good second shot at all. His bunker shot came out weak and only got to about 15 feet from the hole. Woods then jarred the put to save par.
Cut line tentatively at even par
Woods started his round on the cut line after shooting an even-par 70 in the first round on Thursday and first-round leader Gary Woodland shot a 4-under 66 on Friday morning to move to 10-under par.
The lead should stay at 10-under barring a charge from a player on Saturday morning. Rickie Fowler was in the best shape of anyone still on the course Friday when play was suspended. Fowler is currently tied for fourth at 7-under through 10 holes in the second round.
If Woods wants to continue his positive mojo from Friday on Saturday he needs to avoid the trouble that plagued him to start his round on Thursday. Woods started on the back nine Thursday morning and bogeyed the first hole (No. 10). He then had a double bogey on No. 11 and had to scratch back three shots to finish at even par.
Woods should also have a good shot at birdie on No. 8. He laid up on the par-5 just before play was suspended and will have a short shot to position himself for a 4. A move to 4-under first thing on Saturday would put Woods on track for a round that rivals some of the numbers put up Friday morning. Both Brooks Koepka and Charl Schwartzel posted PGA Championship record-tying rounds of 63 before Woods teed off.
If Woods makes the cut, Saturday afternoon should provide a fascinating test. After playing at Firestone a week ago, Woods took an ice bath and did a lot of stretching to prepare for the PGA Championship. Twenty-eight holes of major-tournament golf in a single day is a lot to ask of any professional, let alone a 42-year-old with the injury list Woods has. We could find out a lot about how good Woods is feeling at the end of Saturday.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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