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Tiger Woods seizes control at Doral with more birdies on the Blue Monster

Tiger Woods tied his personal best with 17 birdies over two rounds on the Blue Monster. What mattered more to him was a two-shot lead going into the weekend at the Cadillac Championship.

On a leaderboard packed with golf's biggest names, Woods seized control with six birdies in an eight-hole stretch around the turn. That carried him to a 7-under 65, two shots clear of former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell (67).

A birdie-birdie finish by McDowell prevented a dream final group — Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Mickelson, sparked by a visit to Augusta National earlier this week, had a 67 and joined Steve Stricker (67) three shots out of the lead.

Rory McIlroy showed signs of turning the corner with a 69, his first round under par this year.