GREENSBORO, North Carolina (Reuters) - Tiger Woods roared back after more than a year in the wilderness to tie for the lead after his second round at the Wyndham Championship on Friday.
The 14-times major winner recovered from a three-putt bogey at the first hole to card a five-under-par 65 at Sedgefield Country Club.
Woods has not held an end-of-round lead since he won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio in August 2013.
On 11-under 129, the 39-year-old American shared the Wyndham lead with PGA Tour rookie Tom Hoge. A few players are on the course but it seems likely the pair will still be in front at the end of the round.
Former world number one Woods, whose ranking has plunged to 286, played down his efforts after the round.
”It was a grind today,“ he told the Golf Channel. ”I didn’t quite hit it as well as yesteday. I kept leaving myself above the hole. I hung in there ... and ended up okay.
“It’s just part of the process. I knew I was playing something similar to this at the Quicken Loans (three weeks ago). I just needed to put it together for more days.”
One stroke behind was U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love who may qualify to play in next year’s team if he maintains this kind of form.
It is clearly too early to contemplate such a scenario but finally healthy again after spinal fusion surgery in 2013 and, more recently, a foot operation, Love is competitive again.
The 51-year-old American, who won this event in 1992 and 1996 when it was held at nearby Forest Oaks Country Club, shot a 66 on an ideal morning for low scoring.
“I missed a few fairways in the last 10 holes and made some nice putts for par and that felt good but it was a little too dramatic,” said Love, a 20-times tour winner.
“This is the best I’ve felt in a while and obviously the best I’ve played so I just want to keep making progress.”
Love plans to continue playing on the regular tour for at least another year, until the Ryder Cup in September 2016, so that he can keep an eye on the aspiring members of his team.
Brandt Snedeker, the 2007 Greensboro champion, reeled off nine birdies to tie the course record of 61.
“It was definitely something I wasn’t expecting on the range this morning but great to get it,” said Snedeker who credited a seven-foot birdie effort at his second hole for setting the tone for his round.
“Once I did that I was off to the races.”
Editing by Frank Pingue