Tiger Tracker: Woods two off the lead


Tiger Woods is preparing for his fourth event of the year - the Valspar Championships in Florida.

Corey Conners took the lead after the first day at the Valspar Championship.

Conners, 26, has yet to win on the PGA Tour and leads South Korea's Kim Meen-whee and Americans Kelly Kraft and Nick Watney by a stroke.

He responded from double-bogey after a loose putt on his 14th hole by chipping in from a bunker two holes later to deliver birdie, only to give the shot back on his final hole to wrap up a frustrating day.

"As I've said, I just need to get a little bit more tournament time in, and I think I've done that and I'm starting to get a better feel for it", said Woods after playing Round 2 of his fourth tournament of the year.

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"I enjoy when par is a good score".

"It was really brutal out there", said Woods, per Golfweek. "That's how hard it is".

Closing his front side with a scrambling par on the rugged, uphill 18th, Woods made the turn at 3 under for the tournament. The fact that the biggest challenge presented by the course comes at the end of the round will test the mental strength of the field once again this year.

Woods' playing partners Henrik Stenson and Jordan Spieth weren't as fortunate in the first round.

Morning or afternoon, it didn't matter.

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"It was cold early, then the wind started blowing, it was inconsistent, it was tough to get a beat on". "There was a lot of guessing, and I guessed pretty good". His ball nestled near a tree, giving Woods an nearly impossible angle to get to the green in two.

Other high-profile names competing at Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course, are four-times major victor Rory McIlroy, Masters champion Sergio Garcia and world number five Justin Rose. Woods launched a tee shot that flew over the green - "they never even saw it, " he said - and landed some 220 yards from where he hit it. Na is also 12th in eagles (holes per) and seventh in sand save percentage. He's struggled with driving in all three of his starts in 2018 (his now driving accuracy is way down at 45%, having hit just 63 of a possible 140 fairways). For a moment, it was easy to be transfixed by Woods' swings as he took the fans and viewers back to when he was appointment viewing as a singular force in the golf world.

After his drive bounced on a cart path and clattered deep into the trees, coming to rest on leaves and pine straw, Woods was concerned his club would snap against a nearby pine on his follow-through.

The good news for Woods is that it was that kind of struggle for just about everyone. The Englishman finished in mid-pack last week, but given that was his first start for five weeks there was nothing wrong with that. Not too often in Florida do you find elevation.

While Woods was able to avoid serious injury, he admitted it was a little painful on his arm. He said the 47-year-old Mickelson's victory at the WGC Championship in Mexico on Sunday encouraged him to believe he could still add to his collection of 106 professional wins. "We can all see that".

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