NASSAU, Bahamas – (Wire Service Report) – (Special to Digital Sports Desk) – Tiger Woods fired a bogey-free, 7-under-par 65 on Friday to mark his lowest round in three years, and the former top-ranked player in the world sits at 6-under overall after two rounds at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
Woods, 40, sank seven birdies in only his second competitive round of golf since the Wyndham Championship in August 2015. He played his first nine at 3-under before rattling off four birdies on five holes from Nos. 11-15.
Woods’ turn-back-the-clock performance left him at 6-under 138, six shots behind co-leaders Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama in the 17-player field.
“It feels good. As I said yesterday, I had it going for eight holes and I lost it and finished over par,” Woods said Friday, referring to his opening round when he struggled on the back nine. “Today was different.”
Before Friday, Woods’ last bogey-free round came in 2015 at the Greenbrier Classic (67).
The 14-time major champion started well with four birdies on eight holes in his opening round Thursday, but carded two double-bogeys on the final three holes for a 73.
On Friday, Woods nearly aced the par-3 12th, sticking a 6-iron within a foot of the hole. He also birdied four of the par-5s, including Nos. 9 and 11, which he bogeyed in the first round.
“I turned those two par-fives into under par and that’s four shots right there,” Woods noted. “Consequently, I was able to play the middle part of the round better, turned it around, kept the momentum going and I moved myself up the board.”
Matt Kuchar and Louis Oosthuizen are two shots back of the leaders after matching 67s while Bubba Watson is another shot behind at 9-under 135 after shooting the day’s best round with a 63.
Olympic champion Justin Rose of England, scheduled to play with Woods, withdrew before the second round with a back injury, reducing the field to 17 players