SYDNEY — Tiger Woods walked off the golf course and saw his name atop the leaderboard Friday in the Australian Open. Even more pleasing to him was the way he got there.
With control of his shots and comfortable over the putter, Woods put together his best back-to-back rounds of the year with 5-under-par 67 at The Lakes that gave him a one-shot lead among the early starters in the second round.
Woods, who opened with 68, was at 9-under 135.
Peter O’Malley birdied his last two holes for 66 and was one behind Woods.
Jason Day, who was paired with Woods, shot 68 and was two shots behind.
If Woods’ lead held up at the end of the day, it would be his first time in the lead after any round since the third day of the Chevron World Challenge last year, and the first time against a full field since his last win two years ago in the Australian Masters.
“I really played well,” Woods said. “Even though I shot 5 under, it felt it could have been 8 or 9 deep.”
DALY TROUBLES: John Daly hit seven balls into the water on the 11th hole and stormed off the golf course at the Australian Open. Already with a tarnished reputation Down Under, he might have gone too far with Australia’s golf hierarchy.
Daly was banned from playing in the Australian PGA in two weeks.
And he might not be welcome back.
“I would say this will be the last time we will see John Daly.” said Trevor Herden, Golf Australia’s director of tournaments.
Daly would have been hitting his 16th shot if he had more golf balls.
EUROPEAN TOUR: In Singapore, Edoardo Molinari and James Morrison shot 9-under-par 62 to share the lead after the first round of the Singapore Open.
Y.E. Yang (63) was in third place and Daisuke Maruyama (64) was fourth.
Ex-Augusta State golfer Oliver Wilson opened with 70. Phil Mickelson had 71.
LPGA TOUR: In Guadalajara, Mexico, Juli Inkster and Suzann Pettersen, the world’s No. 2-ranked golfer, shot 5-under-par 67 to take the first-round lead in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
Meena Lee had 68 and Catriona Matthew opened with 69.
There is a six-way tie for fifth place at 70. Among those at that figure are Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie and Se Ri Pak.
Top-ranked Yani Tseng opened with 76 and is in 34th place in the 36-player tournament.