AKRON, Ohio -- Tiger Woods is using his head right now. Just wait until the rest of his body catches up.
Woods had four birdies, two bogeys and two spectacular pars in a 2-under-par 68 that left him tied with David Duval and Craig Parry through Friday's second round of the World Series of Golf.
"I've hit the ball better and putted better," Woods said after finishing at 5-under 135. "But I'm scrambling really good right now, thinking around the golf course. The last two rounds I didn't make any mental errors. Physical errors, yes, but my thought process was good."
Exhibit A was No. 9, where he drove into heavy trees and rough off the left side of the fairway.
After getting a free drop from sprinkler control boxes, he was forced to hit a 60-degree sand wedge through a gap in the trees half the size of a coffee table. He did, rolling the ball on the front of the green and then two-putting for par.
"That was one of the shots I'm very proud of, because the gap wasn't very big," he said.
At the 16th -- Firestone Country Club's famed 625-yard signature hole known as "The Monster" -- Woods hit a 350-yard drive, then pulled out a 3-wood while the gallery massed along the ropes urged him to go for the green in two. He flew the ball 285 yards, clearing a greenside trap and landing in heavy rough off the back left corner of the green. From there he chipped 15 feet past and two-putted for another par.
"To be honest with you, I really wasn't happy," Woods said. "The fans were happy, but they were the only ones."
At one time or another five players had at least a share of the lead Friday. Duval had the lead to himself as he teed off on the final hole, thanks to a bogey by Woods who was unable to get up and down out of a bunker at the 14th.
But then Woods chipped in for a birdie at 15 at almost the same time Parry was rolling in a birdie putt at 14 and there was a threesome atop the leaderboard again.
Duval's 66 matched Mark O'Meara for low round of the day, but it didn't impress Duval.
"If there was ever a boring 4-under, that was it," Duval said after a four-birdie, no-bogey day.
Duval wasn't about to stake any claim to the $405,000 first-place check just because he had a share of the lead at the mid-point.
"It's certainly a lot better to be at 5-under right now than it would be to be a couple over par, but it's hard to say even that 5-under is better than 2- or 3-under right now," he said. "Two shots is nothing."
Parry -- who stands just 5-foot-6 but is nicknamed "Popeye" because of his muscular forearms-- has played PGA Tour events since 1992 but has yet to win on U.S. soil.
His 5-iron approach hit a woman standing just right of the green at the par-3 5th. Parry checked on her before she received medical treatment -- "She just didn't look very well" -- then chipped to 6 feet and hit the par putt.
"Just proves golfers don't have consciences," he joked.
Coming into the day a shot back of Mickelson, he was in the lead by himself after rolling in an 18-footer for birdie at No. 15.
But at the 17th, he found trouble right of the green with his 6-iron second shot and was unable to get up and down to save par, falling back into the tie at the top.
He goes into the weekend hopeful he can finally break through in the states.
"It obviously means a lot to me because I've won everywhere else," he said. "I've won in Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan -- but never here. So it's really the missing piece of the puzzle for my career."
First-round leader Phil Mickelson, hooking his drives into trouble four times, is two shots back at 3-under 137 after a 71.
The pack at 1-under 139 includes leading money-winner and PGA champion Vijay Singh, British Open and Masters winner O'Meara, Justin Leonard, Scott Hoch and Loren Roberts.
Before play started, U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard after taking too long to hit his second putt on the 17th hole in the opening round. Janzen waited for more than 20 seconds -- twice the time permitted by Rule 16-2 of the Rules of Golf -- with the ball falling into the cup just as he walked up to tap it in. After finishing a 78 that left him 43rd in the 44-player field, he marked his card for a birdie 3 instead of taking a self-imposed penalty shot for a par.
"Strange things happen on the course sometimes and this was one of them," Janzen said before leaving the course.
Janzen still got to collect the $18,475 in unofficial earnings for finishing last.
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