April 21, 2018

Lahiri at tied 49 in tough conditions; resurgent Woods at 14th

25 February 2018, 01:33 | Kristopher Drake

Noren, Simpson share lead at Honda Classic

PLAYA DEL CARMEN MEXICO- NOVEMBER 09 Danny Lee of New Zealand plays his shot from the 17th tee during the first round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba

- The noise echoed off the hospitality suites as Tiger Woods emerged from a tunnel and onto the 17th tee at PGA National late Friday afternoon, a sun-baked gallery of thousands in full throat. Woods got to the tee and the wind died, meaning 5-iron was too much and 6-iron wouldn't clear the water.

"I just need to get better at it", Woods said.

Tiger Woods enters the weekend just four shots off the lead at one over.

Rory McIlroy was cruising along at even par before coming up short attempting to reach the par-5 18th in two shots. "I feel that I can just get it around better, I don't need my best stuff to have a chance to win, it's just about being a bit smarter". Four back on this golf course with 36 holes to go?

Fleetwood laughed when asked the last time he was at 2 under after 36 holes and only one shot out of the lead. Tied 14th, but only those four shots off the joint-leaders Jamie Lovemark and Luke List, a run of good shots could see Woods make an unlikely ascent toward the top.

Woods rebounded with a birdie on the following hole and closed out his round with five consecutive pars.

The 14-time major champion made birdies on holes four and nine after an early bogey, but he found water at the par-three 15th.

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On the 16th, a par-4 of 434 yards, he tugged his approach and had 65 feet. "I really played well today".

"I feel like I'm right there".

It is a sold out spot on the 17th hole that keeps its value year after year. It ranked as the hardest hole of the day, playing to an average of 3.74.

The 14-time major victor was superb from tee to green at the hard PGA National course on Saturday, hitting nine of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation. He had the lead at 9 under through two rounds of the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges this past October in Korea, but he shot a 4-over 76 in the third round and had to settle for a tie for fifth. "I did that for most of the day". Third start with a chance to win? "So here we are, we're back at a golf course I know and I play well here". Driver is not a huge weapon here because the fairways are so fast. However, Woods still had some magic in the locker as the shadows stretched out across the Florida course.

"Maybe I ought to have been a little smarter to pick some easier venues, " he said.

As always, most of the eyes at PGA National on Friday were on Woods, though. Woods said he grinded throughout his round, forced, at times, to muster all his talents just to make par. "Making pars is a good thing". It's going to come down to a pretty bunched leaderboard Sunday. "Anyone can win this tournament". It's going to be jam-packed.

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