KIAWAH ISLAND: Tiger Woods birdied two of his first four holes then held on in blustery conditions for a one-under 71 on Friday to seize a share of the halfway lead at the 94th PGA Championship.
Woods, who is chasing his first major title since the 2008 US Open, got his round off to a flying start by one-putting three of his first four holes. He reached a four-under 140 total and shares the lead with two-time PGA Championship winner Vijay Singh (69) and first-round leader Carl Pettersson (74).
“The putts were going in, so I felt good about that,” Woods said. “It was tough out there.” “It was hard staying steady a couple of times I got blown on my downswing,” Woods said.
“The hard part is getting blown all over the place. There is no such thing as easy tap in.” This is the first time the Ocean Course has hosted a PGA Tour event and at 7,676 yards, it the longest course in major championship history.
Woods said the “sticky” grass on the ocean-side course was very different than usual.
“You can’t run the ball up because the grass is too sticky,” he said.
“We don’t play golf courses like this. It is not a typical PGA Championship venue.”
Singh finished with five birdies and two bogeys as he teed off in the morning when the weather was worst. Pettersson, who began on the back nine, had a tough start and a shaky finish.
Englishman Chris Wood was on course to spoil a fairytale ending for the home favourites after snatching a one-shot lead after the third round of the $1-million Thailand Open on Saturday.
The European Tour regular, making his first appearance on the OneAsia Tour, fired a five-under-par 67 around Suwan Golf & Country Club for an 18-under total of 198 — a stroke ahead of Taiwan’s Chan Shih-chang (68).
Thailand has not produced a home winner of the National Open since Boonchu Ruangkit won for the second time in 2004, but overnight leader Prom Meesawat (72) and Wisut Artjanawat (71) are well in the hunt.Wood, 24, has two top-three finishes on the European Tour this year.
Chella Choi rallied with three birdies down the stretch for a four-under 67 and a one-shot lead Friday after the second round of the LPGA Tour’s Jamie Farr Toledo Classic.
Choi, winless in her four years on the LPGA tour, recovered nicely after starting her back nine on a sour note with two straight bogeys.
She shot an opening round 66. and was at nine-under 133 to lead a Korean assault at the rainy Highland Meadows Golf Club. Five of the top eight golfers were from South Korea. Inbee Park had the low round, climbing 29 spots on the leaderboard with a six-under 65. Park is the winner of the tour’s most recent tournament, the Evian Masters.