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How Tiger is clawing his way back to the top
Take a look at the numbers that explain how Woods has put himself back among golf's elite.
By Jessica Marksbury
Friday, March 16, 2018

What a difference a day makes.

After firing a first-round 68 on Thursday to launch himself to within a shot of the clubhouse leader, Tiger Woods's second round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational was a bit lackluster by comparison.

The round began with an unfortunate opening tee shot: A hooked iron off the tee forced Tiger to chip out of trouble and led to a bogey start. The second hole, a par 3, wasn't looking much better when Tiger's iron landed well short of the green. But a tidy chip to near tap-in range saved the par.

Loose iron play contributed to a lack of birdie opportunities throughout the round. On No. 3, Tiger ended up short-siding himself behind a bunker on the right side of the green, and it took a fabulous flop shot and clutch six-footer to save par.

Wedges into the green on Nos. 4 and 5 were squandered opportunities for birdie.

A 56-degree wedge into No. 6 left Tiger about 10 feet for birdie — his first good look of the round. But the putt never touched the hole. And on the holes when Tiger did find himself with a putt for birdie, it was generally on the wrong side of the green — too far from the hole to be a realistic chance.

The 9th hole was especially egregious. With a 9-iron in hand, Tiger left himself over 60 feet for birdie. He blew his first attempt 12 feet by, past the hole and off the green, and missed the comebacker to make the turn at two over par on the day and two under par for the tournament — nine shots behind the leaders.

On the 12th hole, at last, one for the highlight reel: a chance for eagle on the par 5. The putt didn't drop, but it was a red number at last for Tiger. A tap-in birdie brought him back to three under for the tournament.

An impressive up-and-down par from the greenside bunker on No. 15 was achieved via a clutch 22-foot putt...

...and a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th brought Tiger back to where he began at the beginning of the day: four under par.

Pars on Nos. 17 and 18 sealed the deal for a round of even par, and though he's seven shots behind leaders Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau, there's still lots of golf to be played.

You can relive every shot of Tiger's second round here

 

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