Everyone but Tiger

Updated: 2011-08-07 07:42

(China Daily)

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Everyone but Tiger

Ryan Moore - one of four second-round leaders at 8-under par - hits from the 17th fairway at the Bridgestone Invitational. [Photo/Agencies]

Twelve golfers are hovering near lead, none of whom's last name is Woods

AKRON, Ohio - For the second straight year on a course where Tiger Woods once couldn't lose, he tees off so early in the third round that dew will still be on the grass.

Only this time, it has more to do with the weather than bad golf.

Woods finished toward the bottom of the pack last year at the Bridgestone Invitational, which those around him believe was the low point in his worst season. There has been a noticeable improvement over the opening two rounds at Firestone, even if it doesn't look all that great compared with everyone else.

There were 17 rounds at 67 or better on the first day. Woods wasn't among them.

There were 45 rounds at par or better in the second round Friday, and again Woods was left behind.

That puts him in the middle of the pack, just one of the guys, even though he defiantly said he was "not other guys" when someone suggested to him that others would be expecting to win a tournament having not played in three months.

Instead, there is a long list of stars going into the weekend.

Everyone but Tiger

Rickie Fowler had eight birdies and an eagle - he holed out with a wedge from the third fairway - and had to settle for a 6-under 64 that left him in a four-way tie for the lead at this World Golf Championship.

He was joined by Ryan Moore, who posted his second straight 66 without getting much notice, and PGA Tour rookie Keegan Bradley, who used a tip from Phil Mickelson on his way to a 65.

And then there was Adam Scott, who followed his opening 62 with a hard-earned 70. It didn't feel like a great round, but it was enough for Scott to be atop the leaderboard.

"The last time I shot 62 was probably a long time ago, so am I going to expect to do it two days in a row?" Scott said. "I don't think so. But it's a hard golf course, and if you're just a little off, you get quite severely penalized. There's no real secret that it's not easy to shoot a couple of 62s."

Nor is it all that easy to be at 8-under 132, which is what the leaders posted. It was the lowest 36-hole score at Firestone since Woods reached 9 under going into the weekend in 2006.

Associated Press