Belek (Turkey) (AFP) – European No.1 Henrik Stenson’s drive to extend his Race to Dubai lead is under threat after Tiger Woods shot a brilliant second round nine-under par 63 at the Turkish Airlines Open on Friday.
Stenson and Woods were among 63 players in the elite 78-player field who needed to return to the course at 8am local time to complete their delayed first round.
Stenson was among three players to head the $7 million event with an eight under par 64 while Woods continued to struggle with the driver in signing for a 70.
But after a short break Woods, who last won a regular European Tour event four years, birdied three holes in succession from his second hole on route to an 11-under total on the Maxx Royal course.
It left the 14-time Major winner trailing just one shot behind Stenson (68) and a trio of Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, South African Justin Walters (66) and England’s Ian Poulter (66).
“This afternoon’s round was one of those rounds where it could have been really special,” said Woods.
“I missed probably about four putts inside 10-feet for birdie, and if I make those, it’s a pretty low round.
“The thing is the golf course is very receptive and we are going to have to shoot low rounds. The greens are slow, they are soft, and the balls are not rolling.
“It’s going to be 20-plus in order to win this tournament, if the weather stays nice like this.”
Around 30 people were present near the 11th green when Woods restarted his round at 8pm and by the time he completed his second near 4pm the crowd had swelled to a few thousand following him.
Stenson, who played the opening two rounds in the company of Woods, was among three players to lead the first round with the Swede shooting an eight under par 64.