Tiger Woods moves two ahead at halfway stage of the WGC-Cadillac Championship
By Mark Kendall - Twitter: @SkySportsMK. Last Updated: 09/03/13 5:34pm
Tiger Woods moved ominously into a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the WGC-Cadillac Championship following a quite superb second round of 65 on Friday.
The World No 2 mixed eight birdies and just a single bogey to reach 13-under-par as he pull cleared at the top of a high-quality leaderboard at the season's second World Golf Championships event.
Graeme McDowell (67) emerged as Woods' closest challenger as he went bogey-free at TPC Blue Monster for a second successive day to end on 11-under, while Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker also posted 67s to finish one stroke further back in joint-third.
With Bubba Watson and Fredrik Jacobson four back at nine-under and Charl Schwartzel and Keegan Bradley also within range at eight-under there are plenty of big names in contention, but it was Woods who proved the class of the field on day two.
After opening with three straight pars, Woods hit the birdie trail with a two at the short fourth and picked up further shots at five, seven and eight to reach the turn in just 32 blows.
Two more birdies followed at ten and 11 as he demonstrated a hugely-assured touch with the putter throughout and he holed another tester across the 13th green to reach 13-under.
His only blemish came after a wayward drive at 14, subsequently failing to get up-and-down for par, but he scrambled well after finding sand at the next to maintain his momentum.
His final birdie came at the short par-four 16th after driving into a greenside bunker and the American acknowledged he was very satisfied with his efforts.
Second round leaderboard
(US unless stated)
-13 T Woods
-11 G McDowell (NIrl)
-10 P Mickelson
-10 S Stricker
-9 F Jacobson (Swe)
-9 B Watson
Click here for collated scores
"I played better today, not initially as the first couple of holes were not very good at all, but the first good shot I hit was at four and then I felt pretty good about it," he said afterwards.
Mickelson had matched his great rival shot for shot in the early part of the round before an untimely bogey at the seventh - his 16th hole - allowed a charging Woods to put some daylight between them.
Woods' playing partner Rory McIlroy enjoyed a more positive day as he signed for a three-under-par 69, the World No 1 bouncing back from a couple of bogeys on the front nine to eventually make six birdies.
However, he finished in disappointing style with a three-putt bogey at the last to end 11 shots off the pace at two-under, but that was nothing compared to defending champion Justin Rose who triple-bogeyed his final hole - the ninth - to slip back to four-under having been in contention all day.