Relentless Woods makes light work of toothless Blue Monster

Tiger Woods makes another confident shot during his seven-under-par 65 at Doral's Blue Monster course in Florida.

Story highlights

  • Tiger Woods leads at halfway stage of WGC tournament at Doral
  • Woods cards a 65 for 131 on the Blue Monster course
  • Graeme McDowell two shots behind in second place
  • World No.1 Rory McIlroy trails again in Florida

Tiger Woods probably wishes every tournament could be played on Doral's Blue Monster course and after a second round 65 Friday he is headed for his fourth win at the iconic venue.

Taking advantage of benign scoring conditions and just the lightest of breezes, the World No.2 carded eight birdies, including a run of six in eight holes around the turn.

The 17 birdies he has carded over the first two rounds is also a personal best for the 14-time major winner.

It left him on 13-under 131 at halfway in the WGC-Cadillac Championship, an event he has won six times, and two shots clear of Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, who shot a fine 67.

Woods was briefly joined at the top of the leader board by his arch U.S. rival Phil Mickelson, who also shot a five-under 67 for 10-under and tied with Steve Stricker in third.

Read: Rory toils as Tiger tames Doral to share lead

Woods and Miclkelson fought out a classic duel at Doral in 2005 when Tiger set the tournament record of 24-under-par.

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    With stiffer winds set for the weekend, that score is unlikely to be broken as Woods homes in on his second win on the PGA Tour this season, the other coming at Torrey Pines, another of his favorite layouts.

    Masters champion Bubba Watson and Swede Freddie Jacobsen, who shared the first round lead, were a further shot back.

    Struggling World No.1 Rory McIlroy has had to watch as his playing partner and fellow Nike stablemate Woods has made light work of the course over the first two days.

    Read: McIlroy walks off after nightmare start

    The 23-year-old McIlroy will at least be around for the weekend in Florida, unlike at last week's Honda Classic where he trudged off midway through a dismal second round -- and later apologized.

    McIlroy showed signs of improvement in a second round three-under-par 69 for two-under 142, but finished with a dispiriting bogey five after three putting.

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    It being a World Golf Championship event everyone in the select field gets to play all four rounds and the chance for the Northern Irishman to get his game into the groove as he builds up to the Masters.

    Defending champion Justin Rose of England saw his hopes of retaining the trophy all but disappear with a triple bogey seven on the short ninth, his 18th, to finish with a level par 72 for four-under 138.