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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

Resurgent Tiger Woods takes first tournament lead in three years at Valspar Championship

The 42-year-old shared the lead after the second round at Palm Harbor in Florida.

Woods pictured during the opening round of the PGA's Valspar Championship.
Woods pictured during the opening round of the PGA's Valspar Championship.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

TIGER WOODS WAS in a share of the clubhouse lead at the Valspar Championship after a fine second-round showing that was only blighted by a bogey at the last.

The American great was in the outright lead when teeing up at the ninth, his final hole, at Innisbrook Resort’s treacherous Copperhead course.

But he missed a five-foot putt for par meaning he was back in the clubhouse at four under for the tournament alongside Paul Casey and Brandt Snedeker, with Corey Conners – the overnight leader – on the same score and due to tee off later on Friday.

That bogey was the only blemish on an otherwise flawless card for Woods, who made four birdies during his three-under 68 and showed signs of his “A game”.

Woods began to climb the leaderboard when he birdied the par-four 12th and par-three 13th, putting irons to within six to eight feet on both holes and sinking the follow-up putts.

He closed his opening nine with a scrambling par on the rugged, uphill 18th, to reach the turn at three under for the tournament.

The throngs of fans following his every move were then cheering again when Woods carded a three on the second hardest hole on the course, the par-four, 455-yard second, which had left him in a share of the lead.

Another gain at the fifth, his 14th, left Woods as outright leader but a poor approach shot at the last, which hit a spectator’s handbag, was followed with a clunked chip that fortuitously slowed after hitting the pin.

Woods was unable to make the par save, but was still able to reflect on another solid outing that leaves him well in contention ahead of the weekend.

The last time Woods led a tournament at any point was in 2015, and the last time he won one was way back in 2013, when he counted among his wins The Players Championship and two other WGC events, finishing second in the FedEx Cup standings.

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