U.S. golfer Tiger Woods shot a sizzling round of five-under-par 67 today to lead a world-class field in the second round at the Australian Open.
The former world number one carded seven birdies and two bogeys to move to nine under in total on day two.
The 35-year-old, who started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jarrod Lyle, made the most of the benign conditions in the morning, sinking five birdies on his first nine holes to surge to the outright lead.
Woods said he was finally starting to feel comfortable with his swing, which he has been working on with coach Sean Foley over the last 15 months.
“I played well today,” said Woods. “I could have been a little lower over my first nine holes. Even though I shot five under, it felt like it easily could have been eight or nine deep.”
Woods, who has dropped to 58th in the world, led the field during the final round of this year’s US Masters but managed only just nine events in 2011 as he battled a mixture of knee and Achilles injuries.
Local veteran Australia’s Peter O’Malley, 46, is one shot behind after carding a six-under-par 66, the lowest score of the day, with Australia’s world number seven Jason Day a further shot back in third on seven under after a 68.
But all eyes will be on Woods to see if the 14-times major winner can maintain his lead.
Many experts have written off the chances of Woods ever rediscovering his best form and winning another major since his rapid drop down the rankings over the last few months.
Australian Open 2011, Sydney
1) -9: Tiger Woods (USA)
2) -8: Peter O’Malley (Aus)
3) -7: Jason Day (Aus)
4) -6: Bubba Watson (USA)
5) -4: Adam Scott (Aus)