Woods finds his putting edge to share Shanghai lead

Last Updated: Friday, November 6, 2009 - 16:13

London: Tiger Woods birdied his final hole to complete a second round five-under-par 67 that moved him into a share of the lead with American compatriot Nick Watney at the halfway stage of the WGC-HSBC Champions on Friday.

The world number one had spurned a raft of birdie chances early on another sunny day at the Sheshan International but made no mistake with a short putt at the 18th and joined first round leader Watney, who shot a 70, on 10-under for the tournament.

World number two Phil Mickelson picked up his sixth birdie of the day at the last for a 66 to stand a stroke behind the leaders, alongside compatriot Ryan Moore (69) and Spain`s Alvaro Quiros (66) in a share of third.

Woods, runner-up on both his previous visits to Shanghai, backed off his opening drive a couple of times because of cameras clicking in the gallery but recovered his composure sufficiently to start his round with a birdie.

There followed a succession of missed birdie putts before an errant drive at the sixth left him bashing a rubbish bin with his club in frustration.

The error resulted in the sole blemish of his round but he finally got a putt down at the ninth and came home in four-under-par, the highlight of his back nine a 20-ft chip-in for birdie from the rough above a greenside bunker at the 16th.
Good Start

"Today got off to a good start and I birdied the very first hole," Woods told reporters. "But after that, I didn`t really make any putts. I had certainly some looks at them and didn`t really capitalise on anything.

"It certainly was a little bit frustrating, but the guys weren`t running off and hiding. I knew if I could just play the back nine at three under par... I figured that would probably be a pretty good number. And I did better than that."

Watney, who fired a course record equalling 64 in the first round, also finished strongly with birdies at his last two holes to make up for a double bogey at the fourth.

"Whatever the lead is at, that`s not going to win the golf tournament so I need to go out and keep playing well and keep making birdies to have any shot," the 28-year-old Californian said.

Mickelson, the winner here two years ago, chipped-in twice in a round which also got better towards the end, with birdies at three of his last four holes.
"I`m pleased with where I put myself after two rounds," the lefthander added. "There`s a lot of guys there and I`ll need to play very well on the weekend, but I`m in a good position."

Anthony Kim hit a huge five wood on his way to eagling the 18th for a 69, which left him alone in sixth place on eight-under as Americans dominated the leaderboard.

South African Ernie Els hit a hole-in-one at the par three sixth hole but a couple of double-bogeys undid his good work and he registered a 71 for a share of 23rd on three-under.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, November 6, 2009 - 16:13

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