Jan
25
2013
Tiger tames Torrey (again)
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour
Tiger and a towel

Tiger and a towel

I thought we were in San Diego, not Seattle (where I grew up — well, Bellevue, to be exact)! For the second round at Torrey Pines, it was gray and dreary, but calm — no wind. It rained steadily all day, but it was bearable for the most part. Right as Tiger Woods and his playing partners Rickie Fowler, who rebounded nicely after his first-round 77 and matched TW’s 65, and Nick Watney were playing their last hole on the North Course, it started to pour. 

Good news because he hates rain gear. He even went gloveless on his pitch shot on No. 8 (his 17th).

“I’d much rather play in sweaters, if I can,” said Tiger, in the interview room after firing a seven-under 65 to take the 36-hole lead at the Farmers Insurance Open,. “Hey, you can only get wet, right? Once you’re wet, you’re wet. Deal with it.”

Fair enough.

He’s 11-under at the halfway point and leads by two shots. He’ll play with rookie (sorry inside joke) Billy Horschel, who is nine-under, on Saturday. Six players are clumped at eight-under, including two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton.

Interesting stat: This is the first time has had the solo 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour since 2009. Crazy, huh?

Tiger has fared well at Torrey Pines, to say the least. In fact, he’s dominated in the past, winning this event six times. As you may recall, he also captured his 14th major here — on one leg, no less! — in dramatic fashion, beating Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole playoff in 2008.

The key to Tiger’s success this week so far has been conquering the par-5s. Since 2010, he’s struggled on them, by his standards. From 2000- 2009 he absolutely dominated them, which was a major factor in his wins.

In the first two rounds, TIger is nine-under on the par-5s.

“I drove the ball great and took advantage of the par-5s, and I think I played them 5-under,” said a cheerful Tiger. “So, that’s basically where the round could be had.

“On the North Course, drive the ball well here and you’re going to probably have 4iron shots into the par5s.  Just happened to have the wind turn into us on nine, so I ended up hitting 5-wood.  But, you sprinkle that in with probably four or five wedge shots in there, a round of 6- or 7-under par is definitely conceivable.”

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 (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)