Noren, Simpson tied for Honda Classic lead

PLAYA DEL CARMEN MEXICO- NOVEMBER 09 Danny Lee of New Zealand plays his shot from the 17th tee during the first round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba

"Especially here with the wind blowing this hard, I felt that was very important; it was also very comforting, too, because I live here and I practise here, and it's always blowing like this".

The hole had already claimed 37 water balls by the time Woods arrived at the tee and boasted a scoring average of four, higher than the par-4 first.

Defending US PGA Championship victor Justin Thomas shot a two-over 72 to be at one under, alongside Thomas Pieters (70), Louis Oosthuizen (72) and Daniel Berger (72). Since then, Woods has struggled to make the cut to the third round on two separate occasions.

It can be a surreal experience, with dozens of media, officials, photographers inside the ropes, not to mention the thousands who line the fairways on each hole and make a commotion every time Woods moves. More importantly Woods was only four behind the co-leaders, Luke List, playing great golf for 4-under, and Jamie Lovemark (69).

Only 10 players are in red numbers after 36 holes.

Defending champion Rickie Fowler was not as fortunate.

Tiger's iron game was strong as well, as he found 11 of 18 greens with his "stellar" play, said Chamblee. Four back on this golf course with 36 holes to go?

"It's very relentless", List said.

"Today was not easy" said the 14-times major champion who is making his third start of the PGA Tour season after a long absence following back surgery. "I'm right where I can win a golf tournament", Tiger said. "It's going to be that type of week". While the Weather Channel forecasts possible morning rain showers, which could make the greens a little more receptive, sustained winds of around 14 miles per hour are still expected to increase the degree of difficulty on tee and approach shots.

Both he and Noren finished with five birdies and a bogey to lead a pack of five by one stroke. The 33-year-old former Ringgold, Ga., resident who now lives in Seal Beach, Calif., had two birdies Thursday, when his promising round was undone by a triple-bogey 7 on the 16th hole.

For Woods, it may be the start of something bigger than he is used to as the Tour heads toward its Florida swing. He needed a mere 12 putts through his first nine holes, per's Bob Harig, which helped to set the tone for the round. He totaled 16 (of 28) fairways and 21 greens in regulation, overshadowing four birdies with nine bogeys and a double, and ranked 125th in SG: Putting (-2.903).

"I'm so happy I'm not in pain anymore, but I'm fused, so it's a little bit different", he said leading up to the tournament, per Steve DiMeglio of USA Today.

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