CARMEL, Ind. — Vijay Singh keeps giving himself chances to end four years without a PGA Tour victory. He made four birdies around the turn Friday for a 6-under 66 in the BMW Championship, putting his name atop the leaderboard for the second time in his last four tournaments.
It won’t get any easier the rest of the way.
“I’ve got to keep it going,” Singh said. “I’ve been playing well for two days for a while now, but I need four days of good playing. Sooner or later, I think four days is going to happen. And hopefully, it starts this week.”
Woods started slowly and finished strong, with birdies on his last two holes for a 67. McIlroy, coming off what he called one of the best ball-striking rounds of his life, had to overcome four bogeys for a hard-earned 68. Joining them one shot out of the lead was Ryan Moore, who had a 66 and seems to play well in the BMW Championship no matter which state it is held.
Lee Westwood (65) and Indiana native Bo Van Pelt (69) were two shots off the lead.
Singh was at 13-under 131 on Crooked Stick, a Pete Dye course that is vulnerable to low scoring because of rain over the last several days. The second round was played early Friday to beat approaching thunderstorms, and the times were pushed back slightly Saturday to recover from whatever rain falls overnight.
“You come to a Pete Dye golf course, and you don’t expect to see 13-under par leading after two days,” Woods said.
He was happy just to be in the mix. For the second straight day, Woods wasn’t particularly sharp in any area of his game except for posting a score.
“I didn’t have it with my swing,” Woods said. “Just kind of fighting it around here. You look up at the scores, the guys are just running off. I just wanted to get to double digits (under par) today. I felt like that would have been a good accomplishment the way I was hitting the golf ball, and happy to get a couple of more.”
McIlroy’s mistakes all seemed to cost him, whether it was a three-putt bogey or bad lies when he missed the green. He was helped by a brilliant approach on the par-5 ninth to just inside 5 feet for eagle.
“I put myself in a great position going into the weekend,” McIlroy said. “The round wasn’t quite as good as it was yesterday. I didn’t hit the ball quite as well. But I still managed to get around in 4-under par. I’m very pleased about that. I just need to try and find a little more consistency. It wasn’t that bad out there, but just a couple of missed tee shots and a couple of missed iron shots.”
Singh would settle for just one win at this point. His last victory was the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2008, the year he won the opening two FedEx Cup playoff events and essentially clinched the $10 million bonus. He would not have guessed that would be his last win. Since then, he has coped with nagging injuries and has been regaining his form and his confidence.