It has not been a smooth opening to the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open, with weather delays and darkness suspensions. But finally, we have gone through two rounds, and the favorites are starting to round into form.
Four players will enter the third round with the lead—Justin Walters, Ian Poulter, Victor Dubuisson and Henrik Stenson—but there's someone on the prowl, and that's Tiger Woods, who is just a stroke behind.
Below, we'll have the Top 10, and then we'll follow it up with an analysis of who the favorites to win after two rounds are.
|Turkish Arline Open 2013 Leaderboard Top 10|
He may not be in the lead, but Tiger is on a roll, and in all honesty, this is his tournament to lose.
Woods was on fire on Friday, shooting a nine-under par. In fact, according to Justin Ray of ESPN, this was one of the best rounds of the year:
Tiger struggled a bit on Thursday, shooting an opening-round 70, and he hit a bad bogey on the ninth hole:
But those struggles are behind him. We're looking at momentum here, and no golfer has more than Tiger. After taking a round to feel out the course, it seems like Tiger has a good grasp of what he wants to do and how he wants to accomplish it.
Woods seems to understand that he's on the precipice of taking over the lead, as he told Bernie McGuire of the Associated Press:
I played a little better certainly this afternoon and made some putts, so that was fine. It was a round that could have been really special. But I am right there, and I am only one back.
Given his incredible second round, I think it's highly unlikely that Tiger won't win this. He had nine birdies in the second round and made the most dramatic improvement between rounds. It's his to lose.
Of the four leaders, the French golfer is the only one to have improved upon his first round score.
After shooting a 67 in the first round, Dubuisson followed that up with a 65 in Friday's round.
Dubuisson has had a lot of success on the amateur circuit, winning the 2009 European Amateur.
But he hasn't really been on the big stage before. If he has steely-eyed nerve, then it's easy to see him sticking with the leaders until the final holes.
If not, then he could easily fall back into the middle of the pack.
It's tough to say, as he doesn't have any experience in events like this. So far, though, so good, so we'll give Dubuisson the benefit of the doubt and say he has a decent shot of winning.
Stenson is the veteran amongst the four leaders, and he has the most experience and pure talent to beat out Tiger.
The Tour's second-highest money maker (behind Woods, of course), Stenson got off to a hot start, shooting an opening-round 64, before following it up with a 68 in the second round.
It's been a banner year for the Swede. He finished second at the British Open and third at the PGA Championship. Stenson won the Deutsche Bank Championship, and he took home the FedEx Cup.
This has been the best season of Stenson's career. It's not easy to hold off Tiger, but if anyone can do it in this tournament, it's Stenson.
Look for Stenson to be in it until the end. If Tiger falters, Stenson will be there to fill the void.
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