Woods builds four-shot lead at Sherwood

Tiger Woods tees off on the 14th hole during the second round of the Chevron World Challenge golf...

Tiger Woods tees off on the 14th hole during the second round of the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament in Thousand Oaks, California on December 3, 2010. (LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters)

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, Last Updated: 8:38 PM ET

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - For two days of a very long year, it has looked like the Tiger Woods of old.

Woods followed his first-round 65 with a six-under 66 on Friday and has a four-shot lead after two rounds of the Chevron World Challenge.

The former No. 1 endured a winless 2010 PGA Tour campaign after his personal life crumbled. While this is an unofficial event, Woods would still love to be on top for once in an unprecedented season of futility.

He stands at 13-under 131 at Sherwood and has been the kind of tournament host he used to be. Woods won this title four times and has one of those big leads he was accustomed to having before 2010.

Woods could even regain the No. 1 ranking with a win this week and some help from new No. 1 Lee Westwood. The Englishman would have to finish outside the top four at the Nedbank Challenge, but the game's best is in the lead at the midway point in South Africa.

Woods would still lose that top spot again by the end of the year, but it's been an impressive two rounds with star players in pursuit.

U.S. Open champion and European Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell is alone in second after a three-under 69 left him at nine-under 135.

Two of McDowell's teammates, Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy, suffered late double-bogeys, but share third place at minus-eight.

Paul Casey, ranked in the top 10, was omitted from Colin Montgomerie's Ryder Cup side, but on Friday he aced the 12th hole, fired a seven-under 65 and vaulted up to fifth at minus-six.

But the story has been Woods.

Armed with a one-shot lead to start the round, Woods knocked his second to eight feet at the par-five second and holed the eagle putt. He rattled off back-to-back birdies at four and five and quickly found himself three shots clear.

After five straight pars around the turn, including a missed six-foot birdie chance at 10, Woods rolled in a four-footer for birdie at the par-five 11th. Woods went four up, but those pesky Europeans closed the gap.

One by one, they all made mistakes. Except for Woods.

Donald, who started his back nine with five consecutive birdies, landed in an unplayable area at the par-three 17th en route to a double-bogey.

McDowell was next and was double-digits under par until a bogey at the closing hole knocked him back down to nine-under.

McIlroy, playing with Woods in the final group, made a terrible bogey from the fairway at the par-five 16th. Woods tapped in a routine four-foot birdie putt at the same hole, but McIlroy got one back with a birdie at 17.

McIlroy pulled his approach at the last and walked off with a double-bogey.

Everyone fell down the leaderboard but Woods.

He continued to make pars and holed some tough five-foot par saves, including one at the last.

"Putted a little better today," Woods said in a televised interview. "Thought my stroke was a little better."

In another stroke of vintage Woods, he has played the par fives in 10-under through two rounds.

"Got to take care of the par fives," Woods said on television. "I did that so far the first two days and I've got to continue doing that. They're all reachable."

Nick Watney, Hunter Mahan, Sean O'Hair and Ian Poulter each posted rounds of five-under 67 on Friday and share sixth place at five-under 139. Dustin Johnson's even-par 72 dropped him to 10th at minus-three.

NOTES: Defending champion Jim Furyk only managed a one-over 73 and is tied for 13th at plus-one ... Anthony Kim was last in the elite 18-player field on Thursday, but his six-under 66 on Friday moved into him into that group at one-over par ... Bubba Watson recorded a rare double-eagle on Friday when his four-wood shot from 283 yards at the par-five 16th fell into the hole ...Woods' 10-under score on the par fives alone would be enough to lead the tournament.


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