Sun, Oct 01, 2006 - Page 22 News List

Tiger streaks ahead at the Amex

DOMINANT A second explosive round put the US ace five shots clear of the field as he continued his unbelievable recent form in tournament golf


Tiger Woods of the US, left, shakes hands with Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke at the end of their second round match in the American Express Golf Championship at The Grove, Chandler's Cross, England, on Friday.


Tiger Woods continued his total domination of the WGC American Express Championship on Friday when the world No.1 and title-holder added a 64 to his opening 63 to surge to a five-stroke lead.

Woods again swooped on the 18th hole for an eagle to enhance his lead.

In the first round he ran in a 20-footer for eagle to ensure his overnight lead. In the second round he holed from half that distance to shrug off his rivals.

On 15-under-par 127, after his seven-under par return, he leads in the clubhouse by five shots from his Ryder Cup teammates Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink and one of his opponents at The K Club last week, Briton David Howell.

Another one of Europe's team, Padraig Harrington, is a further stroke back.

For a second day Woods showed considerable prowess on the greens, holing from 36ft on the short fourth and running in a series of 10-15 footers as he aims for a fifth win in the tournament since it began in 1999.

Even at his last hole, after a rare wayward drive, he rolled to within two feet of the cup to avoid dropping a second shot in the tournament in two days.

"To make that little three on 18 got things going," Woods told reporters, saying he had played even better than in his first round. "I hit the ball more clean, more crisp, controlled my flight better."

Great fields

Asked how he seemed to be able to win world golf championships at will, Woods, who has been victorious in 11 individual tournaments, said: "It's basically very similar to major championships ... You've got great fields. Granted, they're not full fields, but it's always nice to play the best players in the world."

With most of the championships for the immediate future taking place in the US, Woods regretted the monopoly, saying: "It is unfortunate. This is a global game and it's one of the reasons why we've played all over the world."

Howell, who overcame Woods to win last year's Champions' tournament in China, denied the Americans; dominance of the leaderboard with a seven-birdie 66.

Furyk, Woods's Ryder Cup partner, was a shot better to come through the field, while Cink carded a 67.

Harrington lost his chance of a share of second place by bogeying the last for a 69.

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