Thursday morning was not a fluke for Tiger Woods in Greensboro. The 79-time PGA Tour winner was on the move again Friday afternoon at Sedgefield Country Club, playing a four-hole stretch in 4-under to rocket up the leaderboard into a share of the lead at 11-under. This eagle putt at the 15th hole was the end of a perfect tee-to-green display from Woods.
Tiger Woods is tied for the lead after making this eagle at No. 15. #QuickHits http://t.co/53gIdUrb7p— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 21, 2015
He hammered his driver off the tee to set it all up, and the club twirl and premature tee grab with the ball still climbing were vintage Tiger.
Feeling it. pic.twitter.com/nmZjJHQuTM— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 21, 2015
Now his score is from a past vintage too and he's going be on top of the leaderboard heading into the weekend. It's the first time Woods has held a lead or co-lead at the 36-hole mark of a PGA Tour event since the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which was his last win.
There will be those critics who say Tiger is doing this at a nothing event against a depleted field. It's not a premiere event and there are stronger fields on Tour, but that completely misses the point. Tiger being competitive, let alone on the lead on the PGA Tour, the world's most competitive circuit, is a sign of life. That matters right now and it's so cliche, but it can build to bigger things as he finds his game with this new swing. We've listened to him drone on about the process and stepping back to move forward with this new motion under swing consultant Chris Como.
We've mocked the terms Tiger has used to describe this progress -- baseline shifts and spin rates and feels and complete control -- because it all seemed like nonsense and totally incongruous with the numbers on his scorecards. The truth is he has been better, just not at the majors when everyone is paying attention. It's still not been great or anything like the Tiger of old, but his work at the Greenbrier and Quicken Loans National showed he still had some competitive game in him.
Now it has come together for two straight days in Greesnboro. The putts, which missed almost every single time last week at the PGA, were dropping all day again on Friday. This one from 25-feet at the 13th ignited that back nine run to the lead:
Tiger from 25 feet... Good. He's 2 back. #QuickHits http://t.co/IQtOENM6IE— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 21, 2015
He'll play in Saturday's final pairing with Tom Hoge, who has as many PGA Tour rounds as Tiger has PGA Tour wins: 79. Woods will likely need to win, or maaaaybe finish solo 2nd, to earn enough points to have his season continue and make the FedExCup. From what we've seen through the first two rounds, he's found something to stay near the top of the leaderboard throughout the final 36 holes and that should make for a wild and thrilling weekend at the Wyndham.
When's the last time we said that about this sleepy regular season finale sandwiched between the season's final major and the playoffs? It may just be a two-day lightning strike, but it's good to have Tiger back. His final card from the second round 65 that backed up that 64 from Thursday: