History Says Woods Has This One Sewn Up

Golf Pga Championship

Woods 8-for-8 In Majors When Up After Two Rounds

August 15, 2009|By Teddy Greenstein | Teddy Greenstein,Tribune reporter

CHASKA, Minn. - - A news conference moderator reminded reporters Friday evening that Tiger Woods is the "36-hole leader" of the PGA Championship.

OK, it only feels like the tournament is already over. At 7-under-par, Woods leads the field by four shots - but it feels more like 40.

Even Padraig Harrington, probably the biggest threat to Woods' coronation, seems resigned to fighting for second.

"If Tiger plays the golf he's capable of over the weekend," Harrington said, "then he will be the winner."

Woods started his second round with a bogey and ended with one. In between he all but mastered the difficult conditions at Hazeltine National, where wind gusts threw shots - and putts - off line and the greens dried out in record time.

"It was a different golf course today," said Minnesota native Tom Lehman, who is tied for 38th at 2-over-par. "That's the thing about Hazeltine I've always noticed - how quickly it can go from being somewhat soft to as hard as a rock."

Woods didn't crack many smiles Friday, but he did grin after calling the greens "a little bouncy" - apparently a major understatement.

Mostly, Woods was deadly serious. It's his last chance to win a major in 2009, and he has no plans to ease up.

Woods was not impressed to learn that he has won his past 12 PGA Tour events when he has had a lead after two rounds. For the record, he's also 8-for-8 in majors after a 36-hole lead.

"Just because I'm 12-for-12 doesn't mean anything [today]," he said. "You have to play. Those things I did 12 times doesn't do a bit of good [today]."

Woods will be paired with three-time major winner Vijay Singh, who shot an even-par 72 to go with his opening-round 69. Singh is among five players at 3-under, including Harrington and U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover.

Singh is ranked 12th in the world but hasn't done much this year. His best finish is a tie for sixth at Colonial. Singh, 46, said he has drawn inspiration from Tom Watson's British Open run.

"If he can compete at 59, I think I'll be able to do it in my 50s," he said.

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