Woods improves as Spieth leads

The 38-year-old is making his comeback this week after four months out through injury and he made a miserable return with a five-over 77 in the opening round on Thursday.

Woods opened up on Friday with a birdie but gave that shot back on the eighth hole before producing the highlight of his round with an eagle on the par-five 13th after hitting his five-iron second shot to within six feet.

He followed that up with birdies on the 14th and 16th to move to four under for the day but a rain delay of around 90 minutes after he came off the 17th halted his momentum and he posted a double bogey at the 18th – after stubbing a short pitch and two-putting from six feet – to finish on three-over for the tournament.

Those two dropped shots also put him two shots adrift of the field in last place in the 18-man tournament.

Despite taking seven shots less than he did in his opening round, Woods did not feel that his play was markedly better.

“It wasn’t a whole lot different,” he said. “I maybe hit two less worse shots than I did yesterday, but it really wasn’t that much different.”

Rhythm

Woods has spent a lot of time away from the game in recent years and admits it is not always easy to get back into his rhythm.

“Sometimes it takes me a few holes, sometimes it can only take me a shot to feel like I’m back into tournament mode,” he added.??”It all depends on my preparation, but also it depends on my feels.”

In-form American Jordan Spieth remains at the top of the leaderboard although darkness forced him off the course on the 18th hole.

The 21-year-old is five-under after 17 holes of his second round and 11 under for the tournament.

Sweden???s Henrik Stenson carded a 68, despite bogeying 15 and 16, to move into second place on nine under, one ahead of American Patrick Reed, who played alongside Woods, and England???s Justin Rose, who both charged through the field with rounds of 63 and 64 respectively.

Rose birdied nine??of his last 13 holes after dropping over par for the day with a double bogey on??five.

Northern Ireland???s Graeme McDowell could only manage a 73 which left him in a tie for 14th place on three under.

Watch the third round of the Hero World Challenge live on Sports 4 from 5pm on Saturday.

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