- The Open, Round Two
Tiger stalks Snedeker & Scott after magical finale
Tiger Woods produced another restrained and disciplined performance to keep himself within firing distance of leader Brandt Snedeker on day two at The Open.
Woods never let himself off the leash as he used all his major know-how to tame Royal Lytham - although he did conjure a grandstand finish, chipping in for birdie at 18 from a greenside bunker to give himself another 67.
Snedeker, ten-under after a brilliant 64 in the morning, now leads by one from Adam Scott, with Woods' cagey strategy leaving him looming ominously at four back.
Lee Westwood is three-over and has just about snuck into the weekend field - but Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia (both four-over) will play no further part.
Woods, taking irons from the tee and generally playing precise, risk-free golf on the treacherous track, made two birdies on the front nine: a six-footer giving him one at four, and then at six following a 12-footer.
He coughed up a stroke at 11 as, for once, his gameplan erred and he found himself in the rough from the tee. He sent his second shot straight into the wilderness on the other side of the fairway, then made a hash of an attempted chip onto the green, before a two-putt gave him a bogey six.
For the second day running, Woods' circumspect attitude yielded few chances after the turn, as cautious approach shots frequently left him with improbable 20-foot birdie putts - however, he did convert one with some style at the 16th, before that fabulous finish at the 18th.
Scott, with Tiger Woods' former caddie Steve Williams on his bag, is breathing down Snedeker's neck after a 67. Scott's long putter was again deadly as, after playing the front nine in level-par, he racked up three birdies on the back nine, which is generally considered the harder half of the Lancashire course.
Scotland's Paul Lawrie (four-under), an Open winner in 1999, was the polar opposite of Woods, serving up a volatile, whirlwind round of 71 that featured two double bogeys, a bogey and four birdies.
Graeme McDowell, also four-under, again struggled to salvage par when he missed the greens, so it was fortunate that his irons were landing him on the putting surface more often than not. A superb tee shot at nine gave him a five-footer for birdie, which he snaffled, and he converted from similar range at 13 thanks to a flawless second stroke. Those were the highlights - around them, there was one other birdie and two bogeys, as well as a very presentable birdie chance carelessly passed up at 18.
Darren Clarke's defence of the title he won last year is over after two days, but his second-round 71 was a creditable way to bow out.
Ernie Els, a links master who triumphed at The Open in 2002, is three-under following two late birdies in a 70. Ian Poulter had a 69 to go to level-par.