Bridgestone Invitational: Tiger shows his claws

Tiger Woods WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

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Tiger Woods has shown why he is the clear favourite ahead of the last major of the year after shooting a career-best equalling round of 61 at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Woods has a seven-shot lead on the field after just two rounds at the Firestone Country Club and two birdies from the last five holes would have given him the magical round of 59.

And he was not without his chances as he missed birdie opportunities from inside 10 feet on both 15 and 17. The last person to shoot 59 in a PGA Tour event was Australian Stuart Appleby in the final round of the Greenbrier Classic in 2010.

Asked about the prospect of shooting 59, Woods said: “I certainly could have done it, I’ve done it before (in practice at his home course of Isleworth).

“I felt pretty relaxed with it. If I hadn’t shot 59 before it would have been a different story. I was only nine-under, so it’s not a feeling that I’m uncomfortable with.

Defending champion Keegan Bradley and England’s Chris Wood are sitting jointly in second place but things were not so great for some more of the golf world’s bigger names.

US Open champion Justin Rose is 14 shots off the pace along with world number three Rory McIlroy as they gear up for the US PGA Championship.

If Woods is successful in the pursuit of his eighth victory at Firestone it will cement his position as the red-hot favourite going to Oak Hill, Rochester on August 8.

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