Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods each carried momentum into the second round of the Bridgestone Invitational. That meant the best 36-hole score for Furyk in his PGA Tour career, and the worst start for Woods in nearly fourth months.
Furyk had another good day with the putter, making a few birdies early and saving par from the bunker four times on the back nine at Firestone for a 4-under 66 and a two-shot lead over Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain.
It helped that Furyk opened with a 63 on Thursday afternoon, allowing him to turn around Friday morning and try to resume his good play. That’s what he did, starting with a tricky birdie putt on the second hole and following his lone bogey with a 20-foot birdie on the ninth.
“Just probably a little easier to keep the momentum going that way than having an early time on Thursday, having a good round and having to sit on it until Friday afternoon,” he said. “I thought it was key to get off to a nice start and see some putts go in. Made a good birdie putt at 2, and saw some birdies go in on the front nine, good putt at 9, and off to the races.”
He was at 11-under 129, two shots clear of Cabrera-Bello, who had a 65. Louis Oosthuizen used his putter from just off the ninth green to finish with a birdie and a 65, leaving him three shots behind going into the weekend of this World Golf Championship. Jason Dufner had a 66 in the afternoon and was four shots behind.
Woods, a seven-time winner at Firestone, can’t seem to get anything going.
He threw away three shots on the back nine Thursday, the last one a three-putt on the 18th hole for a 70. He started his second round by driving into a bunker and making a bogey on the 10th hole, and it never got much better. For the second straight day, he had to lay up with his third shot on the par-5 16th. And the low point of his putting woes came on the seventh hole, when he stuffed his tee shot inside 5 feet and three-putted for bogey.
“I hit it good, made nothing,” Woods said.