McIlroy was also out early following his 76 on Friday and he went 10 shots better with a five-under 66 which took him to three under and into a tie for 16th place.
Australian Jason Day needed to get his feet wet at the final hole to salvage a round of four-under par 67 and take a two-stroke lead at the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina on Saturday.
Peter Uihlein broad jumped 46 spots up the leaderboard on the wings of his 9-under par 62. Woods gave a clinic and played ping-pong with the young golfers. Either way, the characters are in place for a compelling Sunday even if Woods (nine back) is too far behind to win.
The sign, which hangs in a hallway that leads out of the club’s bag room, sits under an oversized scorecard, written in flawless Calligraphy, that commemorates the 61 that Rory McIlroy shot here three years ago. When he signed for his seven birdies and an eagle, Uihlein was tied for first with 36-hole leader Peter Malnati.
After struggling with his putter during an opening-round 73 on Thursday, a frustrated Thomas went to his backup putter on the practice green.
“I just like being at home and I like being around my family and friends more than I like chasing it around here”. He gained 10.7 strokes on the field with that round, which led to his first PGA TOUR victory.
Uihlein didn’t expect much Saturday, but then a 7-under-par stretch over six holes that included an eagle changed everything. Then No. 14, which he had bogeyed a day earlier.
The 28-year-old drew criticism from traditionalists after he claimed the Augusta Championship has now become “the biggest golf tournament in the world”. I said ‘OK, let’s.’ Once I got back into my routine, I was fine. “I feel like it separates guys a little bit more”.
Griffin, an eighth-year pro who normally plays on the Web.com Tour, was one of four qualifiers for the Wells Fargo Championship on Monday at Gaston Country Club in Gastonia, where he shot a 66. He would shoot a round of 67 as he carded 5 birdies and 1 bogey. “You’re trying to nearly get through the first six holes. There’s a lot of anxiety, there’s a lot of really strong desire, there’s a lot of pressure that I put on myself”. And if his second tournament as a pro goes as well as his first, there’s a potential new star coming to the PGA Tour. – Rory McIlroy’s course record of 61.
Phil Mickelson started the day at 2 over but shot a 7 under 64 to get to 5 under for the tournament.
The four-time major victor got within one of Patrick Reed after two holes on Sunday but ultimately faded for a 74.
“I chipped in, there were a couple of balls that hit trees and came back into the fairway, hit it up into the azaleas and got away with it”.
“I feel more comfortable on faster greens”, Woods said on Friday.
“I was so close to shooting about seven, eight-under today”, he told reporters.