Jon Rahm and Henrik Stenson set halfway pace at Hero World Challenge
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 01/12/18 10:49pm
Jon Rahm and Henrik Stenson vaulted into a share of the halfway lead at the Hero World Challenge as Tiger Woods endured a brush with the rules on day two in the Bahamas.
Rahm was the hottest player on the Albany course in the second round as he carded nine birdies in a blistering 63 that lifted him to 10 under, and he was joined at the top of the leaderboard by Stenson when the Swede closed out a 66.
The European Ryder Cup team-mates go into the weekend with a one-shot advantage over Dustin Johnson and overnight joint-leader Patrick Cantlay, while Woods is six off the pace after a double-bogey at the last but avoided a penalty for a possible double-hit.
After an early birdie at the third, Rahm picked up four shots in five holes around the turn and kept his positive momentum flowing down the stretch to continue his charge up the leaderboard.
Did Tiger double-hit?
Watch the incident involving Tiger Woods at the 18th and vote on whether he should have been penalised.
The recently-engaged Spaniard made three further birdies in four holes from the 12th and signed off with another at the last to post the low round of the tournament, narrowly eclipsing the 64 of Tony Finau in the group ahead.
Rahm appeared set to enjoy the outright lead until Stenson, who had cruised to the turn in 32, bounced back from a bogey at the 10th with three consecutive birdies from the 14th, including a sublime long-iron to tap-in range at the 16th.
Johnson also embarked on a back-nine birdie spree and picked up five shots in six holes in a 67 which hoisted him to nine under alongside Cantlay, who mixed four birdies with a pair of bogeys in an erratic 70.
Finau's impressive round featured six birdies and an eagle at the ninth as he climbed to eight under and two ahead of Alex Noren and Gary Woodland, while Rose did not card a single par over the final eight holes as he returned an entertaining 70.
Rose, whose consistency was one of the key assets in him becoming world No 1, stuttered to the turn in level par, bogeyed the long 11th, birdied the next four and then offset another gain at 17 with dropped shots at the 16th and 18th holes as he closed on four under.
Woods had opened with a disappointing 73 while battling the effects of a cold on day one, but his energy levels were clearly revived on Friday as he moved to four under with his fifth birdie of the round at the 15th.
But controversy arose at the last when, after blocking a three-wood off the tee into a bush to the right of the fairway, he aroused suspicions of a double-hit with his attempt to stab his ball back into play.
The tournament host eventually holed out for a double-bogey six and a round of 69 before discussing the incident at length with rules officials in the scorers' hut, although he emerged to inform the waiting media that he was not to be penalised.
"I shot what I shot," said Woods as he remained at two under, while first-round joint-leader Patrick Reed slumped eight shots behind Rahm and Stenson after failing to make a single birdie in a 77 that will see him go out in the first pairing with Jason Day on day three.