POTOMAC, Md. -- No golfer ever will be entirely pleased with every aspect of his game, but for Tiger Woods, his 65 on Friday was as complete an effort as he has produced in 38 competitive rounds in 2018.
While he might rue a few birdie opportunities missed, Woods' 5-under-par 65 at TPC Potomac matched his lowest score of the season -- the 65 he shot last month during the third round of the Players Championship, which was on a par-72 course.
But unlike that day, when he got to 8 under through 12 holes and couldn't make another birdie, Woods was able to finish off his score on Friday in the second round of the Quicken Loans National.
"I was happy with it,'' said Woods, who made seven birdies and two bogeys. "I basically had one bad hole with a nice little three-putt at 17 [his eighth]. ... I made a few putts, which was nice. Overall, I just thought that something in the mid- to high-60s would have been a good score, and I was able to shoot that.''
Woods made two excellent par saves at the eighth and ninth holes, his 17th and 18th of the round, to preserve the score and move into the top 10 with the afternoon wave still on the course.
Hossler, the 23-year-old in his first full year on the tour, birdied four of his last five holes and finished with a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 18 for a 4-under 66. Armour (65) and Gay (64) each made short birdies on the par-3 ninth hole to finish their rounds and tie for the lead.
Woods also made some putts, a significant occurrence given all of his struggles on the greens of late. He put a different putter in his bag this week for the first time in nearly three years and finally saw a few putts drop, including some longer ones.
In fact, he made four putts of 15 feet or longer -- his most in a single round on the PGA Tour since the 2014 Honda Classic.
On Thursday, Woods made 48 feet of putts. He matched that total on the first three holes Friday and finished the second round having made 122 feet of putts.
He improved his strokes gained putting stat from -1.198 to over 2.
"I felt great yesterday,'' Woods said. "I hit a lot of good putts that were starting on line and with the right speed, and I was able to start seeing my line, which is nice. Just continue with it. I wasn't disappointed the way I putted yesterday, and this is just a continuation of it. Today the same thing. I felt like I could see the lines, ball starting on my line, and they went in.''
Woods' round started somewhat ominously when he knocked his second shot to the par-5 10th hole in front of the green, 100 feet from the pin. He elected to putt from well off the green, and the ball came up woefully short, leaving himself a 25-footer for birdie -- which he made.
At the next hole, Woods was fortunate to find his ball after his second went into a marked hazard. He managed to make a bogey -- his only other one came on the three-putt at the 17th.
But he followed up with three more birdies on the back side to make the turn in 33, including a holed pitch shot from 80 feet at the 18th. He then hit the green in 2 at the par-5 second for a two-putt birdie and rolled in a 26-foot putt at the third. He made another birdie at the fifth when he stuffed his approach to 5 feet. He finished the round with four pars.
For the day, Woods hit 10 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens and needed just 26 putts.
"I'm not that far back,'' Woods said. "I'm in a similar position to where I was at Valspar [tied for second]. The scores aren't going to be that low, and it's going to be a tough weekend. It's going to be hot; it's going to be long grinds. It will be hotter than now, which is scary. It will be a long weekend, mentally and physically. I'm in a good position right now.''
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.