CHASKA, Minn. — The final hour at Hazeltine changed everything.
Tigers Woods had spent Friday afternoon sharing the lead with three others at the PGA Championship. Then he fired off three straight birdies, which began with a drive onto the fringe of the 14th hole — a second round-shortened 299-yard par 4 —and ended with Woods nodding his head and dangling his tongue out of the side of his mouth after making a 20-footer.
He finished with 2-under 70 to build a four-shot lead, his largest through 36 holes at a major since the 2005 British Open, when he led by five.
"Just got to just keep plodding along," said Woods, who had led after the first round by one and was at 7-under 137. "(Majors) beat you into making mistakes. And the whole idea is not to make that many mistakes.
"All the times that I've been in this position, I have played well. And I'm playing well now."
Defending champion Padraig Harrington, Woods' playing partner, was tied with eight holes left until he made three straight bogeys, closing with another bogey when he missed a 31/2-foot putt. He finished with 73 and was in a group of five in second.
"I'm disappointed missing the putt on 18," he said. "I'm disappointed not to be a shot better. I'm disappointed not to be a couple of shots better. … I've got to play very well on the weekend to overhaul Tiger."
INSIDE: Mickelson barely makes the cut. 8C