Tiger Woods took a one-shot lead at the tournament he hosts after carding a four-under-par 66 in the second round of the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club on Friday.
The world No. 1 had trailed defending champion Anthony Kim by two strokes after the opening round, despite shooting 64 — his lowest opening round in two years. Due to his knee surgery, the 33-year-old missed last year’s second edition of the PGA Tour event, which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation and honors U.S. servicemen and women. But he appears intent on making up for last time in 2009, despite bogeying his second hole of the day, the par-four 11th. Top 10 celebrity golfers Woods responded with birdies at 13,15 and 16, then picked up further shots at the par-four first and eighth holes to close on 10-under 130 at the halfway stage. “I didn’t drive the ball as well as I did yesterday or hit my irons as crisp,” Woods said. “Either I hit it pretty close to the hole, within 10 feet, or I was missing greens. So it was a little bit of two ends today.
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“It was nice to actually get a score out of it. I didn’t shoot myself in the foot and had a stretch there from basically 17 through three where I didn’t really hit the ball all that well, but somehow was able to get through it and keep the momentum of the round going.” Fellow American Kim failed to build on his course-record opening 62, and fell to third place behind Australian Rod Pampling on eight-under 132 after carding a 70 which featured three birdies and three bogeys. “It was a grind, possibly one of the toughest ball-striking days I’ve had in a long time, even with all my injuries (this year) and I feel good,” Kim said. “I stayed positive and made a couple of key putts to keep me in it so it’s not so bad to be third after a rough day.” The 39-year-old Pampling, seeking his third PGA Tour victory, catapulted himself into second place with a fine seven-birdie 64. Jim Furyk was in fourth place on seven-under after carding 67, to be one ahead of fellow Bryce Molder and DA Points, who both shot 70, and Sweden’s Daniel Chopra (68). U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover matched playing partner Woods with a 66 to take him to five-under, alongside former world amateur No. 1 Danny Lee of New Zealand (67), Australia’s Stuart Appleby (69), American Ryan Moore (66) and compatriot Cameron Beckman (67). Former Masters champion Mike Weir scraped into the weekend rounds with a one-over 71 putting him on the cut of 142, but U.S. Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger missed out along with Australia’s Robert Allenby, England’s Paul Casey and Korean K.J. Choi.