Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Tiger back in his glory at Torrey

Seven-time winner at layout bolts into lead

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SAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods made it look easy on a dreary day at Torrey Pines and wound up in a place he hasn't been in five years.

He had the 36-hole lead by himself at one of his favourite PGA Tour stops.

Woods didn't miss a shot during a four-hole stretch around the turn on the North Course that included a 5-iron to 5 feet for eagle and a wedge that one-hopped off the pin to set up birdie.

It carried him to a 7-under 65 on Friday and gave him a two-shot lead in the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I feel good right now," Woods said. "I'm leading the tournament."

Woods was at 11-under 133 and had a two-shot lead over Billy Horschel, with six other players two shots behind. Already a favourite with seven wins as a pro at Torrey Pines, Woods had even more in his favour going into the weekend. He had a 74-0 edge in PGA Tour wins against the next seven players behind him.

Horschel, who had to go back to Q-school to get his card last year, had a 69 on the South Course to get into final group.

Woods caught a break in the draw by playing the easier North -- it's about 600 yards shorter -- on a day of light rain, a late breeze and soft conditions. But he kept the ball in play off the tee, and he only got in trouble once. That was on the par-4 eighth hole when he drove into a tough lie in the bunker, and it led to his only bogey.

There's a simple formula for playing the North -- make birdie on the par 5s and pick up a few more on the short par 4s. And that's just what he did.

Woods missed birdie putts inside 8 feet on the opening two holes and was taking baby steps until he took off. It started with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th.

He followed with the 5-iron that landed just left of the pin on the 18th, a two-putt birdie on the par-5 first hole, and his wedge that took one hop, struck the flag and settled 4 feet away.

It was similar to Thursday, when he played a five-hole stretch in 5 under. Only this time, Woods finished strong.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 26, 2013 C6

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