Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Tiger Woods shoots 65 at Quicken Loans National

Tiger Woods shoots 65 at Quicken Loans National

Tiger Woods roared into contention for his first victory since 2013, matching the best round of his injury comeback with a five-under par 65 Friday at the US PGA Quicken Loans National.

A spectacular chip-in and four putts beyond 15 feet were among his seven birdies‚ the 14-time major victor sharing 11th on five-under 135 after 36 holes at TPC Potomac‚ only four strokes behind United States co-leaders Brian Gay‚ Beau Hossler and Ryan Armour.

"I felt like I played well enough to shoot the score I shot, and I didn't want to lose it on the last couple holes", Woods said. That matched his low score of the year and left him four shots behind, the closest he has been going into the weekend since he was two shots back at the Valspar Championship. "The course is getting a little bit more hard".

Tiger Woods is playing the Quicken Loans National for the last time, and so much about this year feels new.

Both of the other players in Woods's group, Marc Leishman (3-under 67) and Bill Haas (2-over 72), also made par on the hole that played to a stroke average of 4.29 on Thursday and had been deemed among the most hard overall last season on tour.

"I'm not that far back", Woods said. "And it's going to be a tough weekend". It's going to be hot.

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He shot 65 on a par-72 course at the Players Championship in May, but apart from that had nothing better than 67 until Friday.

"They're going to start falling eventually and today they did", said Woods, who has struggled most with his putter heading into this week. "There are not a lot of low scores out there".

Tiger Woods used a new putter and got the same middling results Thursday in the Quicken Loans National.

Former world No. 1 Woods, ranked 82nd this week, tested several kinds on Wednesday but didn't guarantee he would use the mallet putter this week. "I'm in a good position now".

"I hit a lot of good putts on my line with the speed I wanted".

Italy's Francesco Molinari and American Billy Horschel were on 132 with Zac Blair on 133 and a pack on 134 including Taiwan's C.T. Pan‚ Australian Marc Leishman and American Kevin Streelman‚ who shot a course-record 62.

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"I rolled it well", Woods said.

He would have seen solid play early, some wild shots off the tee by Woods in the middle and flawless work from tee-to-green late. His bid for birdie missed by two feet. On a day of seven birdies, Woods didn't let a good round go to waste at the end.

After a further birdie at 15, Woods had his lone blemish on the greens at 17 when he missed from six feet for par, but his response was spectacular as he pitched in from 30 yards for an unlikely three at the 18th.

"It was a bonus‚" Woods said.

However, he rebounded by pitching in from 80 feet for birdie at the next, even reading the break perfectly as his ball curled into the cup as the large gallery erupted. Fowler was 2 over through 13 holes until taking advantage of No. 14, chipping to 11 feet and sinking the putt.

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