Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Steady Tiger draining big putts

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GULLANE, Scotland -- Tiger Woods couldn't get anything close all day except for the one place that mattered at the British Open.

His name high on the leaderboard.

Woods didn't charge into contention Friday at Muirfield as much as he kept from falling back like so many others. Not only did he go 12 holes without a birdie, he only had two reasonable chances before finally cashing in with a 15-foot putt on the last hole for an even-par 71.

It looked even better as the day went on, and more players ahead of him kept dropping shots on the some of the fastest greens at the British Open. When the second round ended, Woods was at 2-under 140, only one shot behind 49-year-old Miguel Angel Jimenez. Woods was tied with Lee Westwood (68) and Henrik Stenson (70). He plays in the penultimate group toay with Westwood.

"Just continue plodding along," Woods said. "Just continue being patient, putting the ball in the right spots. We're not going to get a lot of opportunities out there, but when I have, I've been able to capitalize. And hopefully, I can continue doing that."

For three hours in the middle of his round, Woods looked like he was trying to hang on.

Getting the speed of the green was tough enough after officials hand-watered the greens overnight, making them slower than what Woods faced Thursday afternoon. The real problem was judging the speed of the fairways. Six times he came up short of the greens as he tried to bounce his shots off the firm turf and onto the putting surface. On consecutive holes, Woods finally saw the ball run onto the green and over the back.

"I was having a hard time to get the ball to chase, and then on top of that, trying to hit the putts hard enough going up the hills," Woods said. "But then toward the middle part of my round, I lost the pace and was blowing it past the hole."

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 20, 2013 C9

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