Vintage Woods posts bogey-free 65 at Hero Challenge
All the signs were there of a vintage Woods on display with fist-pumps and putter slaps.
While in the first round the early birdie display ran out of steam across the back nine but today Woods had everything dialled in and it showed in the end result at the Hero World Challenge.
“I wanted to keep that card clean. Somehow, I don’t know what it is about playing and competing, but keeping cards clean, there’s something really special and it feels pretty good doing that.”
“I really had it dialled in both ways,” Woods admitted.
“I was working it both ways and I really had nice control…that was key. I was able to keep this ball down when I needed to and send it at times.”
Woods used the Scotty Cameron putter that won him 13 of his 14 majors for just 25 putts in today’s round of 65 that coincidentally mirrored his second round at the 2015 Wyndham Championship – his last PGA Tour event before returning this week.
Teeing off by himself after the withdrawal of Just Rose, Woods kickstarted his round with a birdie at the 423-yard first hole, before going on to claim two more birdies on the front nine at the 6th and 9th holes.
The former world number one then stepped it up a notch with another four birdies from the 11th through to the 15th before sinking a long par-saving putt at the 16th to keep the momentum going into the weekend.
“I’m going to have to go low,” said Woods, who sits six shots off the pace set by Dustin Johnson and the in-form Hideki Matsuyama.
“Tomorrow the wind is supposed to be like it is right now and it’s supposed to pump on Sunday. So I’ve got to get after it tomorrow, get into double digits to at least give myself somewhat of a chance going into Sunday.”