Tiger Woods found himself 11 shots behind the leaders before he even teed off on Saturday afternoon in Boston, and must have been motivated to make up a lot of ground in the second round.
The Big Cat had a solid start, parring the first two holes before draining a 10-and-a-half-foot putt for birdie on the par-3 third hole. He followed that birdie with three straight pars, then made it to the front of the par-5 7th green in two, setting up an easy up and down for another birdie. Two pars followed, and Woods made the turn at two-under 34.
Despite the two birdies and clean scorecard, Tiger’s front nine could be thought of as rife with missed opportunities. He hit six of seven fairways and eight of nine greens…with a total of 15 putts.
Woods did just add a new putter to the bag this week, so a few growing pains are understandable, but something must have clicked on the front side, because things took a turn for the better with the flatstick on the back nine.
A 143-yard approach on No. 10 set up a short birdie look of about six feet, which he drained to go three under on the day. A good save on the par-3 11th followed, when Woods sank a nearly 12-foot putt for par after coming up short of the green on his tee shot.
Pars followed on 12 and 13, and then Woods sank an impressive 25-footer for birdie on No. 14 to get to three under for the tournament, and into the Top 30 on the leaderboard.
Two more regulation pars followed, and then Woods hit a 138-yard approach to under seven feet on No. 17 and drained the putt for his fifth birdie of the day.
On the par-5 18th, Tiger gave himself a chance for a final birdie, hitting his third shot from just off the green to eight and a half feet. He lipped out and settled for a 66.
Woods ended the day seven shots back of the current leader (Webb Simpson, -11) — well within striking distance if he can maintain Saturday’s form over the final two rounds.