The Norman Transcript

National Sports

January 26, 2013

Tiger jumps into top spot

SAN DIEGO — Tiger Woods made one last birdie as the rain picked up strength Friday, and what he left behind was a gloomy forecast for everyone else at Torrey Pines.

He had a two-shot lead at the tournament he already has won six times.

He is driving the ball long and straight, just what he needs to handle the par 5s — he has played them in 9 under so far.

And when it comes to experience, he has a 74-0 advantage in PGA Tour wins against the next seven guys on the leaderboard.

Woods knows better than to chalk up another win in the Farmers Insurance Open, so when asked about his name atop the leaderboard after a 7-under 65 on the North Course, he was quick to point out, “We have a long way to go.”

Even so, this had all the trappings of another Tiger show at Torrey Pines.

Woods didn’t miss a shot during a four-hole stretch around the turn on the North Course that included a 5-iron to 5 feet for eagle and a wedge that one-hopped off the pin to set up birdie. It carried him to a two-shot lead over Billy Horschel going into the weekend.

Asked whether he played better when everything was going well in his life, Woods waited out the long question with a short answer.

“I feel good right now,” said Woods, who was at 11-under 133. “I’m leading the tournament.”

Horschel, who had to go back to Q-school to get his card last year, had a 69 on the South Course to get into the final group.

“It’s a good day and I’m excited about tomorrow — I get to play with Tiger,” Horschel said. “I found out when I tapped in for par. I realized he was leading and I was in second place. So yeah, looking forward to that.”

For Woods, it was his first outright lead going into the weekend against a full field since the Australian Open in 2011 (he finished third at The Lakes), and his first time atop the leaderboard at Torrey Pines since 2008.

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