Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Woods in Contention at Quicken Loans after a 66

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Woods in Contention at Quicken Loans after a 66

Article excerpt

GAINESVILLE, Va. * Tiger Woods showed a rare flash of anger on a mostly stress-free day when his second shot on the eighth hole failed to clear a massive fairway bunker. The best he could do was to squeeze it onto the front of the green.

The mistake on the par-5 hole set up the signature moment of a 5-under 66 on Friday in the Quicken Loans National that put Woods in contention for his first victory in nearly two years.

Woods sank the 36-foot birdie putt, which broke hard to the right and trickled over a crest and into the hole. He celebrated with a vintage fist pump and smile.

"If I keep hitting good putts, eventually they're going to go in," Woods said. "I made my share on my back nine and especially that bomb on eight. That was a bit lucky, but I'll take it."

Woods was tied for fifth, three shots behind Ryo Ishikawa, who was even par for the day before he birdied the last three holes at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. Ishikawa was 11 under, one shot ahead of Rickie Fowler, who also birdied the last three for a 65, and Kevin Chappell, who shot 68.

Woods is the host and a two-time winner of the Quicken Loans National, which is being played at RTJ for the first time.

His 66 was his best score in relation to par this year and only his seventh round in the 60s. In eight previous starts this year, he missed three cuts and withdrew once. His best finish is a tie for 17th at the Masters.

Two years ago, Woods was ranked No. 1. Since then, he has had back surgery and changed his swing. This year, he struggled to make solid contact on basic chip shots. His ranking has plummeted to 266th.

"I know what I'm doing out there. It's just a matter of time before things start to click in," Woods said. "People want the immediate fix, the one tip that's going to work for the rest of their life. It doesn't work that way. …

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