Sun, Aug 05, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Woods and McIlroy toil, but stay within striking distance


Jason Day, right, lines up a putt as Tiger Woods walks by during the Bridgestone Invitational on Friday in Akron, Ohio.

Photo: AFP

Tiger Woods on Friday teased his fans with a hot start to his second round at the Bridgestone Invitational, but could not maintain the run in a slightly disappointing day at a venue he has all but owned.

Rory McIlroy also had his issues, misjudging several wedge shots, but at day’s end both he and Woods were within striking distance at the World Golf Championships event.

Woods has not won anywhere since his 2013 victory on the course in Akron, Ohio.

After a bad drive led to a bogey at the first hole, he fired up a large gallery with three birdies in the next four holes, but picked up only one birdie the rest of the way.

He blamed his underwhelming round on struggling to adjust to the pace of the greens.

“I’m really putting well,” he told Golf Channel after a two-under-par 68 to trail halfway leaders Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter and Justin Thomas by five shots. “Just didn’t quite hit the putts hard enough today, but when I did, I made them.”

McIlroy was frustrated by a series of poor approach shots, until a holed bunker shot at the 17th lifted him. With another birdie at the last, a 67 left him three off the pace.

“I was getting frustrated on the back nine,” he said. “I was putting it in position where I should have been giving myself birdie chances and I was having to hole five and six-footers for par, so I think my patience was rewarded.”

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