LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Tiger Woods is one of those few athletes who can extend the news cycle.
Speaking for the first time since being assessed a controversial two-stroke penalty Friday, Woods spent far more time answering questions about that than his 5-under 66 Saturday.
"I was pretty hot because I feel like nothing happened," Woods said of a ruling that his ball moved a fraction while he cleared loose impediments on the first hole. "The ball oscillated and that was it. I grinded my tail off to get myself back in the tournament and then to go from five (shots) to seven behind was tough."
Controversy has trailed Woods all season. He erroneously thought he could take a free drop because of an embedded ball at the Abu Dhabi Championship, and he took an illegal drop at the Masters for another two-stroke penalty.
"The one at Augusta, after going through it on Saturday morning, I did take the wrong drop," Woods said. "(Friday), I didn't feel like I did anything. I described it in (the scoring trailer). I moved the pine cone behind my ball. I feel like the ball oscillated and I just left it. But they thought otherwise."
Woods confirmed he watched video of the incident with Tour officials repeatedly. One report had him punching a wall in the scoring trailer out of frustration.
"We had a very good discussion," Woods said. "I'll end it at that."
Woods admitted to some restless thoughts late Friday. But he began a torrid stretch of six birdies in seven holes Saturday with a 30-foot bomb for birdie on the 215-yard, par-3 sixth. A birdie on the par-5 18th helped offset his two bogeys.
"(Saturday) was going to be hard, just like Saturday at Augusta was hard," Woods said. "When situations like that happen, I had to fight. I fought my tail off and I'm very proud of that. I got myself right back in the tournament."
Woods is four shots behind leader Jim Furyk.
Hanging around: Second-round co-leader Brandt Snedeker, who was 3-over through five holes, grinded out an even-par 71 with a birdie on the par-5 18th. He's two shots back.
"I struggled," Snedeker said. "I really hit it poorly all day. The way I drove it, it's a miracle I scored the way I did."
Gentleman's game: Any anxiety over Woods' first round with Sergio Garcia since Garcia's insensitive remark earlier this year that he would "serve fried chicken" to Woods was dispelled quickly. Arriving after Garcia on the first tee, Woods immediately approached Garcia and his caddie and shook hands.
Garcia had left a note of apology for Woods at the U.S. Open in June.
Aces wild: When Hunter Mahan's 5-iron struck a ridge, rolled onto the 17th green and dropped for an ace on the 210-yard par-3, Mahan had no idea all the good it brought.
Mahan knew it placed an exclamation point on his stellar round, a 6-under 65 that vaulted him from a tie for 24th to tie for eighth. Only later did he learn he won a new car and that this tournament's title sponsor contributed $100,000 to the Evans Scholars Foundation, which provides college scholarships for caddies.
"I remember playing the Western Junior and hearing about it, and it's a great thing they do," Mahan said. "Caddies are a big part of golf. It's awesome that a kid is going to have a great education."
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