Windermere: Tiger Woods shook off the effects of a fever and caught fire on the back nine before a last-hole stumble as he shot a two-under 70 in Friday`s rain-interrupted second round of the Hero World Challenge.
"I wasn`t feeling my best, that`s for sure," said Woods, who ran a temperature of 102 before the fever broke during the second round of his comeback from back injuries and the challenge of another swing change.
Woods, who struggled to a 77 on Thursday in his first competition since August, sweated through his grey shirt before striking his first shot, paused several times for a hacking cough and sat on a cooler by a tee box for relief during his even-par first nine.
Although still in last place in the 18-player field, the 38-year-old Woods, who shut down his season after the PGA Championship, showed flashes of his old self in a stretch from the 13th at Isleworth.
The American blasted a five-iron second shot on the par-five 13th hole to within six feet and sank the putt for eagle. He followed with a birdie at 14 and another birdie at the 16th to reach four-under for the day.
"I hit a little bit closer today and made a couple of putts," he said after the round left him at three-over 147, 14 strokes off the lead.
With one hole left for him, a heavy downpour forced an 82-minute delay.
After play resumed, Woods stubbed a short pitch, leaving it in rough left of the green. He chipped on and two-putted from six feet for double bogey.
"The short game is not very good," acknowledged Woods, who bladed another chip Friday and flubbed three chips on Thursday.
"It`s part of going through the swing changes. A chip shot is a smaller version (of a full shot). It`s not quite ready."
He had politely declined to shake sponsors` hands before the first tee because he was afraid he was contagious.
Yet Woods balanced a birdie with a bogey to go even-par on the front after a woeful five-over 41 start on Thursday, and had a flurry of good holes on the back.
But in the end he stood a massive 14 shots behind leader Jordan Spieth, who had one hole to finish on Saturday after darkness halted Friday`s play.