By Andrew Both
DUBLIN, Ohio (Reuters) - World number one Tiger Woods will make the cut at the Memorial tournament but will end the second round Friday at least 10 strokes off the lead.
In past years a 10-stroke deficit at the midway point would be cause for concern, but these days Woods has to take heart that he will at least be playing the final two rounds.
Displaying flashes of brilliance and periods of pedestrian play, he compiled a respectable three-under-par 69 in ideal morning conditions at Muirfield Village.
"It was decent today," said Woods, who posted a three-under 141 halfway total, while fellow American Ricky Fowler was the clubhouse leader at 13-under.
"I hit more good shots than yesterday and really putted well today. I had five lip-outs, so it could have been a pretty good number."
Woods made his birdies in bunches - three in four holes early on - and then three more in a row starting at his 14th hole.
Unlike Thursday, when he failed to birdie any of the four par-fives, he played the same holes in three-under on Friday, picking up three birdies and a par.
Woods was happy to point out that he is not as tournament tough as most of his peers. This is only his fifth event of the year, although that is his own fault.
The 14-times major winner went into self-imposed golfing exile for five months following revelations of extra-marital affairs and has struggled with his game since finishing tied fourth on his U.S. Masters comeback in early April.
"Here we are in June and I'm at the point most guys are beginning of the year," he said. "So it's just one of those things where the more good shots I hit, keep building, and it's a process."
Fowler, meanwhile, shot a bogey-free 66 to open a four-shot lead over fellow American Tim Petrovic with half the field back in the clubhouse.
(Editing by Steve Ginsburg)