Golf roundup

Woods (63) roars back

Missing another cut didn’t enter his mind

Tiger Woods had his best five-hole start as a pro (6-under). He’s fourth after two rounds at the Buick Open. Tiger Woods had his best five-hole start as a pro (6-under). He’s fourth after two rounds at the Buick Open. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Associated Press / August 1, 2009

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Tiger Woods shot a season-low 63 yesterday in the second round of the Buick Open at Grand Blanc Township, Mich., and soared up the leaderboard with his best round in relation to par in four years.

“I took advantage of driving on a string again,’’ he said. “I hit my irons a little better and I made some putts.’’

In relation to par, it was his best round since he had an 11-under 61 at the 2005 Buick Open. Woods began that tournament with a 71 just as he did Thursday.

Woods was 6 under through five holes for the best five-hole start of his career.

John Senden shot a 66 to take the second-round lead at 14 under, two shots ahead of Michael Letzig (65) and another stroke in front of Vaughn Taylor (68) and Bill Lunde (65).

Senden is shooting for his second PGA Tour title and first in three years. The Australian has four top-10 finishes this season, including a pair of fourth-place ties.

Woods followed up what he called probably the worst putting day of his career with a good one, helping him go into the weekend at 10-under 134.

He teed off early yesterday morning, hitting his first drive 342 yards straight into the blinding sun. He went on to a birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie tear to remove the remote chance he would miss the cut in consecutive events for the first time as a pro.

Woods had to break 70 yesterday to avoid putting himself in danger of missing the cut, but he said that possibility didn’t enter his mind.

“I just wanted to get off to a quick start and take advantage of the holes you’re supposed to take advantage of,’’ said Woods, who began the second round on the easier back nine at Warwick Hills. “I birdied a few more than I thought I would.’’

At the par-5, 544-yard No. 13 - his fourth hole of the day - Woods’s driver left him behind a huge maple tree.

“I could have just pitched out sideways and left myself probably a 7-iron or 8-iron in there,’’ he said. “I got a little bit aggressive.’’

He cut a 5-iron around perhaps the biggest tree at Warwick Hills, chipped onto the green from 50 feet and made about a 10-foot putt for birdie.

Woods eagled the par-4, 340-yard No. 12, sandwiching a spectacular shot between his pair of birdies on his front nine. His drive left him about 40 yards to the hole and a chip shot bounced on the green and landed in the cup.

“It was kind of luck,’’ he said. “I hit it too hard, but somehow it caught the bottom.’’

LPGA - Catriona Matthew of Scotland made a hole in one in a 5-under 67 to share the second-round lead at 3-under 141 with Giulia Sergas of Italy at the Women’s British Open in Lytham St. Annes, England.

Sergas also shot 67 after making five birdies on the back nine.

Matthew eagled the 11th and followed up with an ace on the 12th. She then made four more birdies against a lone bogey for a course-record back nine of 7-under 30.

Yuko Mitsuka (71) was a shot back in third. Song-Hee Kim (73) was at 143, a stroke ahead of Yani Tseng (70) and Christina Kim (71).

First-round leader Sandra Gal of Germany (80) and Angela Stanford (76), who was tied for second Thursday, had disappointing rounds.

Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa dropped all five shots on the front nine before finishing with a 77 at 8 over.

Champions - Tennessee amateur Tim Jackson left Joey Sindelar and Greg Norman behind in the US Senior Open. Jackson, a real estate developer, shot a 5-under 67 at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind., to take the lead at 11-under 133 - matching the lowest 36-hole total in event history. He opened with a 66 Thursday, the best score ever by an amateur in the tournament.

Sindelar (68) was a stroke behind. Norman stumbled early in the round, but recovered nicely, ending the round with two birdies for a 70 to get to 8 under.

European - Graeme Storm shot another 4-under 68 to share the lead after the second round of the Moravia Silesia Open in Celadna, Czech Republic.

Storm birdied four of his first seven holes and was tied with fellow Englishman Steve Webster at 8-under 136. Five players were a shot back.

Junior PGA - Alexis Thompson pulled away to win the girls’ division at the Junior PGA Championship in Maineville, Ohio, and T.J. Vogel took the boys’ title on the TPC River’s Bend course.

Thompson, 14, also won the title in 2007. She led after every round this week, and her 12-stroke margin of victory was just one shy of the tournament record.

Vogel shot a 66 in the final round to beat US Junior titlist Jordan Spieth by two strokes. Vogel had four consecutive birdies from the eighth to the 11th holes.

Ouimet - The final round of the Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament at Woodland GC was halted by rain with the leaders on the 16th tee. Matt Parziale of Thorny Lea held a three-shot lead over Bill Drohen of Bradford. The round will be finished this morning.