AKRON, Ohio – Tiger Woods had a shot at making history with a magical 59.
He swore he wasn’t disappointed to come up short.
“Disappointed? Absolutely not,” he said.
Then he cracked, “A 61’s pretty good. I’m not bummed.”
Like a pitcher having to settle for a shutout instead of a perfect game, Woods could console himself by tying his career best and building a seven-shot lead Friday through 36 holes at the Bridgestone Invitational.
Pursuing his eighth victory at Firestone Country Club, Woods opened birdie-eagle, then had two more birdies on the front nine and four in a row to start the back nine in a light rain.
Needing to go only 2 under over his last five holes, he missed birdie putts inside 10 feet at 15 and 17. He saved par on the last with a 25-footer after an errant drive and a shot that hit into the trees and ended up in a bare spot short and right of the green.
“How about just pleased?” he said, when asked to rate the round. “I’m very happy I was able to post that. I just kept thinking, whatever lead I had, ‘Let’s just keep increasing it.’ It’s at seven now, I believe. So that’s not too bad after two days.”
Woods was at 13-under 127. Defending champion Keegan Bradley and Chris Wood were tied for second. They each shot 68.
LPGA: Inbee Park, seeking a fourth straight major title, fell eight shots behind fellow South Korean Na Yeon Choi after two rounds of the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews, Scotland.
Playing in the strongest wind this week, Park had a pair of three-putt bogeys in a round of 1-over 73 that left her closer to the cut line than the lead. Park, 25, is trying to become the first golfer to win four professional majors in one year.
Choi shot her second straight 5-under 67 and had a one-stroke lead over Miki Saiki of Japan.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: Mark Wiebe followed his Senior British Open playoff victory with an 8-under 64 in the 3M Championship at Blaine, Minn., to take a one-stroke lead over Kenny Perry and Corey Pavin.