Woods fires second-round 63, builds three-shot lead at FedEx finale

Sep 14, 2007 - 8:22 PM By Andrew Both PA SportsTicker Golf Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Tiger Woods lost some momentum Friday but still managed a superb 7-under-par 63 in the second round of the Tour Championship.

The world No. 1, Woods reached the midway point of this FedEx Cup event with an overall score of 13-under 127 and owns a three-shot lead over fellow American Woody Austin.

Woods picked up seven strokes in a stunning six-hole stretch on the front nine at East Lake, negotiating the outward half in just 28 strokes in perfect scoring conditions.

That left him needing only to come home in 31 shots to shoot the magical 59. The way he was playing, he seemed likely - at the very least - to challenge his career-best score of 61.

"I didn't know I shot 28 on the front nine until we got in the scoring tent," Woods said. "I don't know if I was in a zone or not. I just felt that the rhythm was good."

But Woods was not the same after the turn, and a bogey at the par-4 12th - where he plugged his approach shot in a greenside bunker - put an end to any thoughts of a 59.

Woods birdied the par-5 15th, bogeyed the 16th and birdied the last for what surely must rank as the most disappointing 63 of his life.

"I knew at that time I had a three-shot lead over Woody, and I just wanted to make sure I could increase that on the back nine," Woods said. "If felt if I shot under par I would, but two bogeys kind of derailed that."

Austin carded his second straight 65 and is in sole possession of second place, three shots behind Woods and one ahead of the trio of South African Tim Clark, Australian Adam Scott and American Mark Calcavecchia.

Sergio Garcia (64) is at 6-under 132 overall and heads the small European contingent, with Padraig Harrington (70) another stroke back.

With the greens abnormally soft after heavy rain on Thursday, the course was there for the taking. Nobody took advantage of conditions better than Woods, who started slowly - only parring the first three holes before making five successive birdies followed by the eagle at No. 9.

Woods holed a 10-footer at the par-4 fourth before sinking a 60-foot bunker shot at the par-4 fifth. His next three birdies came from 13 feet, 11 feet and seven feet, respectively, before he got home in two at the par-5 ninth.

"Pure luck," said Woods, who drained a monster 70-foot putt. "If you could have been right behind the ball and seen how that thing was bouncing all over the place, it was actually quite funny. It was left of the hole, right of the hole, left of the hole, right of the hole, and then it went in."

Apart from taking command of this tournament, Woods also moved closer to the $10 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup - a new playoff series. This is the final event, and Woods already leads the playoff points list.

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