While all the attention is on Tiger Woods at the Hero World Challenge, the rest of the field was quietly able to go about their business during Friday’s second round at the Hero World Challenge at the Albany Resort in the Bahamas. Here’s how things played out during Friday’s second round of action:
Charley Hoffman put on a pure birdie exhibition. Hoffman had 12, count ’em 12 birdies on his card. He was looking at a new course record had it not been for three bogeys. Still, he shot a nine-under par 63, a shot off the course record and jumped to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway mark. He made a run to the clubhouse with birdies at 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. Take that Tiger! “The putter,” Hoffman quickly said when asked about his incredible round. “Got the ball to the hole, it’s nice to see that again. It’s nice to see Tiger making birdies and eagles. If I keep making putts, hopefully I’ll be there on Sunday.” Note: Hoff can use an extra million.
Jordan Spieth and first round leader Tommy Fleetwood will go into moving day three shots behind Hoffman. Spieth quietly shot a five-under par 67 while Fleetwood followed his opening 66 with a 69. Both should be in the hunt the final two rounds.
Justin Rose knows the Albany course as well if not better than host Tiger Woods. A pair of 68s have Rose alone at eight-under par.
So what about Tiger Woods? Once again everyone was falling all over themselves when Woods went out in 31, five-under par that included an 18-footer for eagle at the par five ninth. But a 37 coming home added up to 68. Woods was excited about being only three off the lead after the first round but he lost ground with his 68 and is now five back of Hoffman.
Joining Woods at seven-under were Francisco Molinari, the first Italian golfer to play in Tiger’s event. He’s in at seven-under with Matt Kuchar and the defending champion Hideki Matsuyama. Matsuyama shot 66 Friday but hardly anyone noticed. Rickie Fowler’s in there as well despite an off day, shooting 70.
On the opposite end of the scoring spectrum was Brooks Koepka. You have to wonder what happened to the U.S. Open champ. He’s dead last in the field at five-over par after shooting an atrocious 78 on Friday that included two triple bogeys — one at the par three eighth and the other at 18. Not so good the guy who blew everyone away in Japan a few weeks ago.
Daniel Berger is the only other player in the field over par. He’s a shot better than Koepka at four-over.
Dustin Johnson is a whopping eight shots off the lead. No one’s talking about the world’s No. 1 who is sitting at four-under after shooting 72 on Friday. You shoot even par on this track and the field is blowing by you.