Sat, Nov 11, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Tiger makes roaring return to form at the HSBC championship

AP , SHANGHAI

US golfer Tiger Woods gestures after teeing off at the sixteenth hole during his second round at the HSBC Champions golf tournament yesterday at Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai, China.

PHOTO: AP

Tiger Woods had an eagle and seven birdies in a course-record equaling 8-under 64 yesterday to move within two shots of the lead at the HSBC Champions tournament.

A day after ending a five-week sabbatical with an even-par 72, Woods closed within two shots of India's Jyoti Randhawa and one of Retief Goosen after starting the second round seven shots off the pace.

Randhawa, the overnight leader, mixed six birdies with three bogeys for 69 and a two-round total of 10-under 134.

Goosen birdied three of his first four holes and finished with three straight for a 67.

Woods was equal with Michael Campbell, who had a 70, and one clear of Scotland's Marc Warren, Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand and European No. 1 Padraig Harrington.

Sweden's Henrik Stenson had eight birdies in a bogey-free round to set the record for the Sheshan International Golf Club at 64 earlier yesterday. He was at 4-under at the halfway in a share of 17th.

Woods shook off the rust of his first round and said his form was approaching what it had been at the WGC-American Express Championship, where he won by eight strokes on Oct. 1 for his sixth straight PGA Tour victory.

"It's close to what I was at Amex -- and that was the best ball-striking week all year," Woods said."

Woods said he was too "one-dimensional" on Thursday -- his first competitive round since Oct. 1 -- but "felt like I was in control of the ball all day" yesterday.

His eagle at the 14th followed his only bogey of the round, when he three-putted from 15 feet on the par-four 13th.

He hit his drive down the right adjacent to water and had 224 yards to the pin and the water hazard in front of the green.

"I hit a 4-iron as hard as I could and it came off perfect," he said. "I had a 10-footer for eagle, left-to-right, and made it."

Woods had another eagle chance at the par-five 18th, again hitting the green in two over the water but rolling his 15-foot putt inches to the right of the hole.

No. 2-ranked Jim Furyk had a 66 yesterday to move into a share of 10th at 5-under, equal with Colin Montgomerie.

The US$5 million tournament is the first event on the PGA European Tour's 2007 schedule. The event also is sanctioned by the China Golf Association and the Asian and Australasian tours.

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