Tiger Woods has made the turn at Muirield, and the world's No. 1 player is currently 2-under for the Open Championship and even-par in the second round. Woods repeatedly put himself in position for birdies and easy pars, but two missed bunny putts led to a disappointing even-par outward 36. That would be a generally acceptable number at a major championship, but Tiger had a chance to be right at the top of the leaderboard with the way he was striking his irons.
Woods' form was on point early, and he consistently put his approach iron shots in the right and safe places on the green. That precision led to tap-in birdies at No. 3 and No. 5, but the grip on the putter got a bit tight at No. 4 and No. 8. On the par-4 fourth, Woods put his tee shot in a good spot right on the front of the green. He watched playing partner Graeme McDowell lag one up to the cup, but Tiger, who was on almost the same line, still left his short with a little meat for the par. And he lipped out the bunny.
The putter got away from him again on No. 8 for his second bogey of the day. Woods mishit his approach shot, and was clearly exasperated as his ball went well right from the target. But he was still safely on the green and in play for a two-putt par. After a nice lag, Tiger once again hit the lip of the cup from three feet and walked off with an extremely irritating bogey. He nearly got the shot back on the par-5 ninth hole, but Woods burned the edge yet again for an incredulous par. He's still in good positions at 2-under, but there were definitely some missed opportunities to make a move early on Friday.
The biggest early morning mover is Lee Westwood, who raced out to a 5-under 31 on the front (matching the number of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Zach Johnson on Thursday). Westwood opened with an nice and easy birdie putt on the first hole, and was off and running from there, sticking his approach on No. 2 for another red number. He's one of the best ball strikers in the world, but his putting has been just short of disastrous at the majors. The Englishman has long been one of the top players in the world, but has been unable to sink the putts at the majors when it matters most. So far on Friday, he's draining everything and given the strengths in other areas of his game before getting up to the green, there's an easy formula to a super low number. He's in solo second and pushing for the lead coming into the house.
Jordan Spieth, who was right up there with Woods and Westwood at 3-under coming into the house, has fallen back after a double bogey at No. 15 and a bogey at No. 16. Martin Laird, a native Scot and fan favorite, reeled off four straight birdies to make his second round move and is now 2-under and on the first page of the leaderboard. Here's a current snapshot of the leaders as Tiger makes his way to the back nine:
|Zach Johnson||-5||10:07 a.m.|
|Rafael Cabrera-Bello||-4||7:50 a.m.|
|Miguel A. Jimenez||-3||7:39 a.m.|
|Dustin Johnson||-3||8:45 a.m.|
|Brandt Snedeker||-3||9:12 a.m.|
|Phil Mickelson||-2||9:45 a.m.|