Woods struggles at BMW Championship

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[September 08, 2018]  Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy came back to earth on Friday, one day after they both shot 8-under-par to tie for the lead at the BMW Championship in Newtown Square, Pa.

Tee times for Friday's second round at the par-70 Aronimink Golf Club were moved up with the expectation of heavy rain, but both players failed to pick up much momentum after their stellar opening rounds.

"I didn't make any putts," Woods said Friday. "I hit a lot of beautiful putts that were on top of the edge and then obviously hit a couple bad ones on the last hole. But it looked like all the putts were going to go in, but they didn't go in today. I hit it just as good and I putted it just as good. Nothing went in. That's the way it goes."

McIlroy enters Saturday in a tie for seventh, four shots back. Woods fell to an eight-way tie for 12th.

Woods held steady with a string of pars until a bogey on the fifth hole Friday, but rallied for a birdie on the ninth to make the turn at even par.

He added birdies on the 11th and 16th holes, but missed a putt from within eight feet on No. 17 to settle for bogey.

It got even worse on the final hole, as Woods three-putted for bogey to end the day where he started at 8-under, five off the lead.

"That round today was easily 6-, 7-under par. I turned it into even-par, which is not what I needed to do today," Woods said.

Woods switched back this week to the Scotty Cameron putter that he used in winning 13 of his 14 majors, but his longest made putt on Friday was a six-footer for par on the first hole. In all, Woods needed 33 putts in the second round after needing just 27 in the first round.

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"Got to make birdies," Woods said. "I have to make birdies and try and keep pace and this golf course is playing soft and getable and tomorrow will be the same thing."

McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, had an up-and-down round with bogeys on Nos. 8 and 12 and birdies on Nos. 6, 13 and 16 to go into the clubhouse at 9-under for the tournament.

Reigning Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele, who entered the day one shot off the lead at 7 under, managed to stay steady and shoot a 64 to claim the lead at 13-under-par.

In their opening rounds, Woods and McIlroy equaled the lowest round posted in a PGA Tour event at the course, shot by Nick Watney during the third round in 2011. Kevin Na matched the feat with a 62 in the second round after shooting even par on Thursday.

It was Woods' lowest round since firing a 61 in the second round of the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational, which was his last victory.

Woods arrived at the BMW Championship ranked No. 25 in the FedEx Cup standings. He needs to stay within the top 30 to qualify for the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta in two weeks, and a victory at Aronimink likely would vault him to No. 2.

--Field Level Media

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