Tiger rebounds after poor opening round

NORTON, Mass. -- Tiger Woods made a quick exit from TPC Boston after his abysmal, rain-soaked opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. So when he arrived at his hotel Friday night, a reporter asked following Saturday morning's second round, how much was that atrocity on his mind?

"Didn't think about it at all," said Woods, who donned a white polo shirt with the Stanford "S" logo on the left breast. "Just was hungry."

Can you blame him? A poor start in Friday's opening round (bogeying four of the first six holes) left him at 1-over headed into Saturday and in danger of not making the cut. He whiffed on birdie opportunities and hit just 6 of 14 fairways. It marked the first time in his eight years coming here that he didn't shoot in the 60s in an opening round.

Perhaps the weather had something to do with it -- hurricane fears clearly notwithstanding, the sun dried out the greens Saturday morning pretty quickly -- but Round 2 was an entirely different story.

Woods turned in a clean card, with six birdies and no bogeys. He birdied four of the first seven and was in position for several more that he just missed out on. When all was said and done, he was back to the Tiger that the droves of New England fans had come to see, shooting a 6-under 65 to put him at 4-under for the tournament, easily making the cut.

"I'm in a learning curve still," said Woods, alluding to new swing coach Sean Foley. "I'm still learning to put this thing together. I'm going to have off days. Yesterday, I started off terrible, but I got it back, and I pieced it back together again. That's something that I alluded to in New York, that I wasn't able to do it at the PGA. It was still too new. But I rectified it yesterday and continued on today."

With clear skies and a gust that slowly picked up throughout the day, Woods was much cleaner off the tees Saturday morning, countering the sharp approaches of partners John Senden and Michael Sim. Woods hit 10 of 14 fairways and gave himself several more birdie opportunities.

And while the putter didn't come through, Woods looked confident and in control of the blade. Sure, there were a slew of two-putts; but of all the missed opportunities, the only real glaring goof was the 6-footer he missed on the 16th hole, leaving him to settle for par. Woods threw his head up in a deep exhalation of disgust almost the moment the blade touched the ball.

"I rolled it good today, I really did," Woods said of his putting. "I had good control of the speed, the pace. I was seeing the line. Only poor put I had was at 16, I blocked that one, but other than that, I really rolled it pretty good today."

Disappointed? Sure, there were some disappointments. And Woods, who ended the day tied with guys like Ernie Els and Angel Cabrera on the leaderboard, is still a ways off from catching leader Brandt Snedeker (seven strokes ahead).

As long as this wind keeps blowing, he'll be happy.

"Absolutely, absolutely," he repeated when asked if he'd favor these winds the rest of the way through. "If it doesn't blow, the guys are going to shoot what they shot yesterday, and I'm sure that if it didn't blow at all, the cut would have been 4-under."