Tiger Woods putts his way to 61

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Tiger Woods shot a 61 on Friday for the fourth time in his PGA Tour career.Tiger Woods had to “settle” for a 61 in the second round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

After shooting 9 under par on the first 13 holes, Woods was on pace to potentially record the PGA Tour’s first round of 58. But he made par on each of the last five holes to finish with a 9-under 61.

Lowest Career Scores
Tiger Woods PGA Tour Career

The 61 matches Woods’ lowest career round on the PGA Tour. He also tied his own tournament course record at Firestone. His other two 61s came at the 2005 Buick Open and the 1999 Byron Nelson Championship.

Woods’ performance this week looks a lot like his dominating win at this event in 2000, when he also shot a 61 in the second round and had a 7-shot lead through 36 holes.

His 7-shot lead through two rounds ties the same event in 2000 for the largest 36-hole leads of his career. That year, Woods went on to win the tournament by 11 shots. His other lead of 6 shots or more came at the 2000 U.S. Open, which he won by 15.

Woods needed 33 putts in each of the last two rounds of the Open Championship, tallying just eight one-putts in those two rounds. In the first two rounds this week at Firestone, Woods has needed 26 putts per round, and has 18 one-putts.

On the first 13 holes on Friday, Woods had a pair of two-putts and no misses inside 10 feet. Over his last five holes, he had three two-putts and missed twice inside 10 feet.

Woods led the field in the second round in strokes gained putting (+4.6) and total putts (22). He was also tied for the lead in one-putts (12). He had four putts of at least 20 feet.

Largest 36-Hole Leads
Tiger Woods PGA Tour Career

His 61 is the sixth round of 61 or better on the PGA Tour this year, joining Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley, Scott Piercy, Chez Reavie and Charley Hoffman.

After opening the WGC-Bridgestone with a 66 and 61, Woods has now shot a 66 or better 16 times at the WGC-Bridgestone, the most such rounds at any tournament. He doesn’t have more than 13 such rounds at any other tournament in his PGA Tour career.

Woods has been 10 under or better through 36 holes three times this year. He won each of those three tournaments.