Tiger Woods walked up to the 18th green at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Course on Friday afternoon, staring at his ball down in the canyon they called a sand trap. It was an impossible shot for any golfer to make, but then again this was Tiger.
As he envisioned each sequence the shot would take from gripping his wedge to striking the ball and ultimately the ball rolling safely onto the green and near to the pin, there's no way he could have imagined the historic finish that would ensue.
The chip, which Woods lifted ever so softly onto the green, rolled steadily along the grass and straight into the cup to end his round with a birdie and move him one stroke closer to the lead.
Tiger may still be four shots behind Brandt Snedeker and three back of Day 1 leader Adam Scott, but when the world's greatest golfer — a title Woods appears dead set on reclaiming — is finding his stride on the course, the field should be concerned.
Rather than ending his Day 2 with a potential bogey and consequential 4-under score for the tournament — which would have put him six strokes back of the lead — Woods sank an unbelievable birdie chip and kept himself well within striking distance of the lead.
The Tiger that the golfing world has seen over the past few days is the same player that dominated the PGA and the sport for more than a decade. Sure we may be four years removed from Woods' last major victory, but the golfer who'll be wearing red this Sunday is a very different one than who we've witnessed over the past two years.
Woods is finally coming into his own again. It seems that he's rediscovered the stroke and concentration that won him 14 majors and had opponents shaking in their cleats each time he stepped to the tee. The swagger is back, and the epic fist pump that Woods displayed on Friday could well be the first of many to come.
So while Tiger is the one trailing on the leaderboard heading into Saturday, it's Scott, Snedeker and the 67 other golfers that made the cut who should be worried.
I've got to get me some of those…
"I'm going to be better than I was before I got hurt."
– Derrick Rose told college coach John Calipari, of the guard's ACL injury
BREAKING: #Titans WR Kenny Britt named prison football league MVP after getting arrested for the 8th time since 2009
— NOT SportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) July 20, 2012
Giants fans — Woof!