- Farmers Insurance Open, Round Two
Tiger flexes muscles at Torrey Pines
Tiger Woods fired an ominous warning by storming to the top of the leaderboard at the Farmers Insurance Open.
The world No. 2 is a six-time winner of the event and after a disappointing start to the season in the Middle East, a return to familiar surrounds at Torrey Pines sparked him into life.
Woods made a steady start but a birdie at the 14th, his fifth, lit the fire. A superb tee shot at his eighth set up a birdie two and he thrilled the San Diego crowd with an eagle one hole later to turn in 32. The momentum continued with further birdies at his 10th and 11th.
After an indifferent opening round on the South Course, Woods was far more polished on the North Course. His iron play was sharp throughout and his round could have been even better as he missed a number of chances - including on his first hole when he fired an approach to eight feet but left an uphill putt short of the cup.
The one blemish on his round came on his 17th, after finding a bunker off the tee, but he hit back to birdie his final hole for a round of 65 which left him at 11-under.
"On the North Course, drive the ball well here and you're going to probably have 4-iron shots into the par 5s," Woods said. "Just happened to have the wind turn into us on nine, so I ended up hitting 5-wood. But, you sprinkle that in with probably four or five wedge shots in there, a round of 6- or 7-under par is definitely conceivable."
Woods was playing alongside Rickie Fowler and he matched his 65, which took him to two-under following his opening 77.
Billy Horschel, who secured his card for 2013 at Q School, will partner Woods on Saturday after posting a 69 to move to nine-under par.
Bogeys on 15 and 17 checked Ross Fisher's momentum, but he saved par on 18 with a six-foot putt and he will go into the weekend four shots adrift of Woods.
Brandt Snedeker started the day as the overnight leader, but the defending champion had a tough day on the greens and a 75 saw him slip back to four-under.
The rain came down heavily in the final couple of hours and Phil Mickelson bogeyed 17 and 18 to card a 71.
"My game is just a little bit off and I am throwing shots away," Mickelson said. "I had a tough time holding on to the club today with the water.
"It does not feel far off, I hit some good shots in the middle of the round, but it does not feel quite right when setting up."