Filed under: European TourDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Strong off the tee and hitting his shots with exquisite control, Tiger Woods seemed like his old self.
He turned in the day's best score with a bogey-free 6-under 66 Friday to surge into contention at the Dubai Desert Classic. The round put him four strokes behind leader Rory McIlroy and gave him every reason to believe he can for the first time in more than a year.
Woods was part of a powerhouse group that included top-ranked Lee Westwood and second-ranked Martin Kaymer. But on this day, Woods played as if he were unquestionably No. 1 again.
"It felt good today. I hit a lot of good shots," said Woods, who likened his game to the way he played at last year's Chevron World Challenge, where he lost in a playoff to U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell.
Woods, who has been outdriving his playing partners, added accuracy to his blistering drives and approach shots. And unlike Thursday, when he missed makable putts and hit approach shots wide of the green, the winner of 14 majors routinely gave himself chances.
He finished with six birdies and was at 7-under 137 entering the weekend at Emirates Golf Club. He won this tournament in 2006 and 2008.
"I felt like I drove it pretty good," he said. "I feel good. We worked out a few of the things last night that I didn't like."