Tiger Woods struggled on the practice range, and he didn't feel much better two holes into his second round Friday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral (Fla.).
He wouldn't have guessed this would be the day to set a personal record for birdies over 36 holes, much less a two-shot lead.
"All I need is one shot," Woods said. "And as soon as I feel it on one, I can pretty much carry through. And I did that today," he said.
It was a 4-iron on the par-3 fourth hole, the toughest on the Blue Monster. He hit a bullet with a slight fade at the left edge of the green, and the slope and the grain took the ball to within 4 feet for birdie.
He ran off six birdies in an eight-hole stretch that sent him to a 7-under 65 and a two-stroke lead over Graeme McDowell (67). Woods has made 17 birdies in two rounds for a 13-under 131 total.
Phil Mickelson hit a 9-iron that stopped inches from dropping for a hole-in-one on the par-3 ninth.
He had a 67 and was three shots behind, along with Steve Stricker (67).
Rory McIlroy posted a 69, his first round under par this year.
But it's a small consolation for the world's No. 1 player. McIlroy was 11 shots behind playing partner Woods.
"I saw a lot of positives," McIlroy said. "I saw a lot of good signs out there."
PGA Tour: Andres Romero shot his second straight 7-under 65 and retained the lead at the Puerto Rico Open in Rio Grande. Romero birdied six of the last 10 holes at Trump International for a 14-under 130 total, a shot ahead of Scott Brown (63).