Former world no.1 Tiger Woods hit two eagles and four birdies in a five-under-par 67 to register his lead by three-shots in the second round at the Chevron World Challenge in California.
Woods, who has won this tournament four times, showed glimpses of the form that has seen him collect 14 majors in a glittering career. The top American golfer is seeking a fifth win at the tournament.
KJ Choi birdied the 16th for a 73 to join Matt Kuchar in second on five under.
Kuchar’s five-under-par 67 included seven birdies, while his American compatriot Zach Johnson sank six successive birdies midway through his round to join Hunter Mahan in a tie for fourth on four under.
England’s Paul Casey improved to three over with a 68, while Scotland’s Martin Laird is seven over after a 74.
Neither of the British players looks likely to challenge this weekend, although Woods will be wary of those behind him after he surrendered a four-shot halfway lead in last year’s tournament, losing to Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell in a play-off.
Speaking through an interpreter, Choi said about Woods: “To put it simply, today he played like an artist. It’s pretty clear that he’s really recovered and is back in his old form again. He missed a few putts, but it was really good to see him play well.”
Chevron World Challenge second-round leader board:
-8: T Woods (United States)
-5: M Kuchar (United States) KJ Choi (South Korea)
-4: Z Johnson (United States), H Mahan (United States)
Selected others: +3: P Casey (England)
+7: M Laird (Scotland)