(Reuters) – Patrick Reed held the outright lead after the second round of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas on Thursday while tournament host Tiger Woods used a back-nine surge to match the day’s low score and remain six shots back.
Former Masters champion Reed fired his second consecutive six-under-par 66 at the Albany Golf Club on the island of New Providence to sit three shots clear of fellow overnight leader Gary Woodland (69) in the 18-man exhibition event.
Defending champion Jon Rahm (66) and Swede Henrik Stenson (67) were a further shot back in a share of third place.
The tournament began a day earlier than usual to accommodate golfers traveling to next week’s Presidents Cup in Australia and the field included all but one member of the 12-player U.S. team that will compete at Royal Melbourne.
Woods, a playing captain at the Presidents Cup, began the day six shots back of the leaders and after reaching the turn at one under for his round turned it up with an eagle and three birdies over a sizzling six-hole stretch on the back nine.
The bogey-free, six-under-par 66 matched Reed and Rahm for the day’s low score and left the former world number one in a share of fifth place with Justin Thomas (69) and Rickie Fowler (69).
“I’m right there.” said Woods. “At least I’ve got a chance going into the weekend.”
U.S. Open champion Woodland was at even par on the day after 15 holes but capped his round in style with three consecutive birdies.
Reed’s only blemish came at the par-four 16th where he made bogey but the American recovered with a par-birdie finish to wrap up his round in style.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)