Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/3/13
Tiger Woods No matter what your thoughts are about Tiger Woods, his second round on Friday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was simply stunning. Tiger shot 61 (3.39 was his average shots per hole) on Friday, five shots better than the next best score of the day, John Merrick’s 66.  Firestone CC has been more than friendly to Woods, having won this tournament seven times previous. In typical Tiger fashion, a smile was not to be seen until the final putt on 18 dropped. A 26-footer to save par from just off the green was about the perfect ending to his round today. I personally can’t remember a time when I have seen Tiger putt as well as he did during the second round. In the first 13 holes, he had 11 one-putts, and ended the day with 22 total putts. Those even include the birdie putts he missed inside 10 feet on holes 15 and 17. Hideki Matsuyama, the young Japanese phenom, played alongside Tiger and seemed like he was playing well, but like the rest of the field, Matsuyama was outmatched by a consistent opponent. Golf needed Tiger to have this round. It would be better if it happened next week at the PGA Championship, but this will do for now. Fans are so used to seeing Tiger grind out tournaments and expend a ton of energy just to have a fighting chance on the weekend. Today he actually looked like how we used to be accustomed to seeing him. It was a combination of shotmaking beauty, raw power, and the most perfect putting stroke a human being could possibly make. It was one of the most complete rounds I’ve ever seen him play. Assuming he can hold his seven shot lead and win this tournament, it will be his fifth victory of the season, and we will be hearing about possibly one of the best years golf has seen without a major win. Television cameras love to show Tiger walk between holes and not high-five the kids, not sign autographs, and slam clubs, but it usually just goes by the wayside. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a fan of Tiger, but I’ve learned you don’t have to respect the man, but you have to respect the game because it’s one of the most beautiful, athletic, and scientific approach to the game I’ve ever seen.
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