Woods gets taste of USPGA lead
Tiger Woods was among the players who had a taste of the lead on a day of high scores in the USPGA Championship at windy Kiawah Island.
Seeking a record-equalling fifth victory in the event and 15th major - it is now over four years since he added to his haul - Woods went to the turn in a one under par 35.
He led on his own following birdies at the second and fourth and single-putted the first five greens, but he could not get up and down at the short eighth and slipped back to four under.
As that happened overnight pacesetter Carl Pettersson hit back from bogeys on the 10th and 12th with a seven-foot birdie at the long 16th, his seventh hole of the day.
The Swede was five under as a result, one ahead of Woods and Fiji's Vijay Singh, at 49 trying to become the oldest major winner in history.
Singh was the only one of 78 players in the morning to break 70, his 69 lifting him no fewer than 28 places through the field.
Just two more - Phil Mickelson and Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey
- broke the par of 72, Mickelson improving to level par with a 71 and Hoey's 70 taking him from six over to four over.
Compatriots Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell wished they could have matched Hoey's effort.
McDowell, four under overnight, fell back alongside Mickelson with a 76, while McIlroy slipped from joint second into a tie for eight on two under following bogeys at the fifth, seventh and 10th.
World number one Luke Donald's wait for a first major, meanwhile, looks certain to go on to next April after he could only match McDowell's round and fell back to six over.
He had to wait to see if he had survived the halfway cut, but even if he scraped through it was going to take something remarkable just to get back into the hunt.
"I actually played decent and got nothing out of it," said Donald.
"I hung in there pretty well and I hit a lot of shots that I thought would give me a putt for birdie and I ended up taking bogey.
"The frustration builds, but I'm not making any excuses. There's still other things to look for and it makes me more determined to keep working hard."
Donald was not alone in thinking he had probably got the wrong end of the draw.
Padraig Harrington also shot 76 to drop back to two over and Justin Rose's 79 saw him tumble from three under to four over.
Harrington is fully aware of Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal's comments on Wednesday that the three-time major winner needed to do "extraordinary" things to come into the reckoning for his side.
The Dubliner would have to win this week to force his way in on points and believes that Ian Poulter is a near-certainty for one of Olazabal's two wild cards if he needs it.
Sergio Garcia is currently in the 10th and last automatic spot, but his 75 for seven over leaves him in danger of requiring a captain's pick as well.
As for the American side, this is their last week of qualifying and Mickelson, in the last qualifying position, did his chances no harm at all in front of captain Davis Love.
Earlier, Welshman Jamie Donaldson shot 73 - 20 strokes better than one of his playing partners, American club professional Doug Wade - to be on two under.
"Just a brutal test of golf," he said.
"The whole thing is very difficult and frustrating at times.
"We have two more days to grind. I'll just try to take it one shot at a time."
Winner of the Irish Open last month on the links of Royal Portrush - his first European Tour victory in 255 starts - Donaldson was prospering at another seaside venue and in more tough weather.
Paul Lawrie, close to securing a Ryder Cup return after 13 years, shot 75 for four over, but Simon Dyson crashed to an 80 and bowed out on nine over.
Last year's Open champion Darren Clarke was putting a dismal season behind him when he stood one under after eight, but he bogeyed the ninth and double-bogeyed the 10th like Donald.
Stablemate Lee Westwood remained three over after six, but Ian Poulter, who could go into an automatic qualifying spot for the Ryder Cup with a top nine finish, was two under and tied for eighth.
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