Orlando (Florida), Dec 6: Comeback-man Tiger Woods put up a much better show by shooting two-under even as Patrick Reed zoomed his way up to tied third with a solid nine-under in the rain-soaked second round of the Hero World Challenge golf, here.
Overnight leader Jordan Spieth was five-under after 17 holes when bad light forced him off the Isleworth Golf and Country Club. Spieth and Steve Stricker are the only players who are yet to complete their round. After a catastrophic 77 yesterday, Woods progressed well but he continued to struggle with his short game.
He closed his round with a double bogey to remain last in the 18-player field. "I didn't feel that much different than yesterday. I hit probably two less worse shots than I did yesterday, but I struck the ball solid yesterday and I did again today. But I think that obviously I hit them a little bit closer today and made a couple putts," Woods said after day's play.
A heavy downpour halted the action for 90 minutes and made the conditions more challenging for the players, who teed off late in fading light. Spieth, Henrick Stenson, Rickie Fowler and defending champion Zach Johnson were all some way from the last hole when play finally resumed.
While others managed to complete their round, Spieth decided against risking his card in pitch dark. The 21-year-old had a tough chip short off the 18th green and struggled to locate the flag from 30 feet away. However he said rain made the scoring easier as there was no wind after that.
"There was two miles an hour wind afterwards, just dead. It was nice. The greens were receptive. The hardest part was not spinning it too much with some of the wedges coming in," Spieth, still struggling to adjust to time zone, said.
"The greens putted a little slower. I left a couple short after my tendency the first couple days had been to hit them a little. So they significantly slowed down, but the conditions got a lot easier," he added.
Stenson struggles with back-to-back bogies
Stenson also struggled a bit in poor light as two back-to-back bogies on 15th and 16th threatened to spoil his card but he managed pars in the next two to maintain his second spot on the leaderboard. He was sharing the position with three others yesterday but is now sole second with a card of four-under.
The day definitely belonged to Patrick Reed, who moved 13 places up today after sinking five birdies and an eagle in his front nine. A bogey on the par-4 12th was the only time he surrendered a shot as he became only the third player this year to shoot a 63 while playing with Woods.
Rory McIlroy shot a 63 with Woods in the opening round at Dubai this year (Woods shot 68). Spieth played with Woods at Torrey Pines and shot 63 on the North Course (Woods shot a 71).
"I never played with Tiger before, besides a practice round at the British. It was good to finally be able to play with him, especially in competition. It was a lot of fun. We had a good time. I felt like we enjoyed ourselves out there, and luckily I played well," Reed said.
Back-to-back 3 birdies for Reed
Reed started the day with back-to-back three birdies and that set the tone of the day for him. "I felt like yesterday I was hitting a couple thin iron shots and didn't feel like I was getting the ball close. Then come out, and felt like I hit a great tee shot, great iron shot on the 1st, and then felt like I hit a really good iron shot in the 2nd, you know, then the great drive on the 3rd, it seemed like it was one of those days you got off to a really hot start and was able to build momentum throughout the round," he said.
Reed was tied third with Justin Rose, who had a bogey and a double bogey but fired 12 birdies for an impressive card of 64. Bubba Watson (68), Jimmy Walker (69) and Fowler (70) were tied fifth after an aggregate of seven under.
A stroke behind them were Jason Day (67), Keegan Bradley (66) and Chris Kirk (68), who missed a hole-in-one on the par-three 15th hole. He hit his 212-yard tee shot to one foot but eventually settled for a birdie. Defending champion Zach Johnson was also tied eighth with them.