Choi applauds Tiger`s artistry after surrendering lead

California: South Korean KJ Choi described Tiger Woods as an artist after relinquishing his overnight lead to the American former world number one in the Chevron World Challenge second round on Friday.

Choi had been three strokes clear at the start of a breezy day in the Santa Monica Mountains but he ended it three adrift of his playing partner Woods, who carded a five-under-par 67 that was, at times, brilliant.

"To put it simply, today he played like an artist," Choi, speaking through an interpreter, told reporters about Woods after being outscored by six shots.

"He really played well. It`s pretty clear that he`s really recovered and is back in his old form again. He missed a few putts, but it was really good to see him play well."

While Woods recorded two eagles and five birdies on the way to matching the day`s best score, Choi battled after the turn en route to a 73 and a tie for second with American Matt Kuchar at five-under 139.

The 41-year-old Korean, renowned for his ability to cope with windy conditions due to his low ball flight, frequently mis-judged club selection on the hillier back nine in gusts of up to 20 mph (32.2 kph).

At the par-three 15th, he hit successive balls into the water guarding the front of the green before running up an ugly quadruple-bogey that dropped him four shots behind Woods.

"I wasn`t on my top form today," said Choi, an eight-times winner on the PGA Tour. "Not that that`s an excuse, but I didn`t really have a good sleep last night. I really struggled, especially on the back nine.”

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