World No. 1 Tiger Woods stormed up the leaderboard at the PGA Tour’s Buick Open after firing a nine-under-par 63 in the second round on Friday.
The American had been in danger of missing the cut for the second successive tournament for the first time after opening with a lackluster 71, but a sizzling start to his second 18 holes left him tied for fifth place four strokes behind leader John Senden of Australia. Woods, who failed to make the weekend rounds at the British Open, began with four birdies and an eagle as he started from the 10th tee. He also birdied the 16 before dropping a shot at 18 when he hit a bunker, but immediately regained the shot and picked up two more at the seventh and eighth holes to be level with compatriots Kevin Stadler (67) and Roland Thatcher (64), Australia’s Greg Chalmers (68) and Yong-Eun Yang (69). They were one stroke behind Vaughn Taylor (68) and Bill Lunde (65), who at 11-under 133 were a shot behind second-placed Michael Letzig (65). Senden followed up his opening 64 with a flawless, six-birdie 66 to be two strokes clear on 14-under. Woods is seeking his third victory at the Michigan tournament, having won at the Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in 2006 and 2002.
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“I was a little bit hot yesterday, so I decided to just go home and get away from it for a little bit,” he said after his second round. “And I came out today with a better understanding of what I was going to do and just hit the ball. I drove it great yesterday. Just didn’t hit my irons as close and didn’t putt well, so I was just going to drive it just as good today and hit my irons a bit better and see if I can pour some in.” First-round leader Steve Lowery fell back to a tie for 37th on six-under after a disappointing 75. John Daly was among those who failed to make the cut of 140, with the veteran big-hitter finishing last after a disastrous 88. The American, who tied for 27th at the British Open but missed the cut at last week’s Canadian Open, began with birdies at the 10th and 13th holes before unraveling with two bogeys, two double-bogeys, a triple, a quadruple and quintuple-bogey 10 at the par-five first.