Woods lurking in a familiar place

Aaron Baddeley and Jonathan Byrd shared the lead atop the leaderboard at the BMW Championship.

updated: September 09, 2007 13:59 IST
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Lemont, Illinois:

Aaron Baddeley and Jonathan Byrd were well on their way to the top of the leaderboard on Friday at the BMW Championship when Tiger Woods figured he better get going if he didn't want to be left behind.

That's about the time he started losing his swing and finding his putter, which wasn't a bad combination at Cog Hill.

Baddeley returned from a three-hour rain delay by making three straight birdies and finished strong for a 6-under 65, giving him a share of the lead with Byrd (69) going into the weekend of the third tournament in these PGA Tour Playoffs.

But it was difficult to ignore Woods, whose second straight 67 put him one shot behind, along with Barclays winner Steve Stricker (66), Justin Rose (69) and Camilo Villegas (69).

Woods is a three-time winner on this public course outside Chicago, and it was not unusual to see him make birdie on all the par 5s and wind up in the thick of contention. How he got there was not so typical.

He birdied the par-5 ninth by slicing his tee shot into the woods, pulling his second shot behind more trees and then hooking an 8-iron out of the rough to 15 feet and making the putt.

He sliced another tee shot into the right rough on the par-5 11th, left a wedge short of the hole and then made a 40-foot birdie putt, shrugging his shoulders when he slipped the putter into the bag.

And on the par-5 15th, he sent his second shot over the green into the bunker, took forever to play the shot because a butterfly kept floating in front of him, then knocked it out to 10 feet and made the putt.

Baddeley and Byrd, both of whom have won on the PGA Tour this year, were at 9-under 133.