The Open 2013: Tiger Woods believes he is in 'a good spot' after steady round at Muirfield

The world number one is at two under at the halfway stage

Tiger Woods believes he is well placed to end his major tournament drought after a steady second round at the Open Championship at Muirfield.

The world number one, who won the last of his 14 major titles five years ago, shot a level-par 71 to remain at two under at the halfway stage in Scotland.

Woods said: "I'm in a good spot. These guys have to go out this afternoon and obviously play a golf course that's quick and is drying out and with a different wind. So it will be tough out there."

Woods started ominously for his rivals with two birdies in his first five holes but hard ground again made approaches difficult and the 37-year-old needed to putt well to maintain his position.

There were some moments of frustration on the greens but a birdie at the last ensured the American would be firmly in contention heading into the third round.

He said: "I'm putting good this year, I do feel good over it, like I have most of the year.

"It's tough out there right now with the wind blowing a little bit - it's moving putts.

"I just (have to) continue plodding along, just continue being patient, putting the ball in the right spots and trying.

"We're not going to get a lot of opportunities out there but when I have, I've been able to capitalise, and hopefully I can continue doing that."

Woods has won four tournaments this year and finished in a tie for fourth at the US Masters.

Much may have happened in his life since he won the US Open in 2008 but he has still been a consistent challenger in majors and is convinced his 15th success will eventually come.

He said: "I've put myself there, I just haven't won. I've had chances on the back nine on many of those Sundays.

"It's just one of those things where I haven't got it.

"I'm not going to win every major I play in but certainly I can try and put myself there."

Woods' playing partner Graeme McDowell was certainly impressed with the performance of the three-time Open winner and had no doubt he was close to his best.

The Northern Irishman, four over par after a second-round 71, said: "He was very, very impressive the last two days. He will not be far away this weekend the way he's playing.

"He just hits the shot that you're supposed to hit at all times. Really, it's like, 'do I have to follow that?' He's so impressive.

"It's very difficult to focus on your own game when you're watching the best player maybe ever over the last two days.

"I lost count of how many comebacks he made for pars. He's putting them exceptionally well.

"He's playing the golf course very conservatively, using his iron play to devastating effect - very impressive.

"Combine that with some great putting, he's going to be dangerous.

"He certainly looks like he's very close to being back. So there will be no surprise to me if he's picking up the Claret Jug on Sunday night."

Unlike Woods, McDowell has won a major in the past five years - the 2010 US Open - and despite his position in the field still believes he has an opportunity to add another this weekend.

He said: "But I'm not writing off the rest of the field. There's quality players there in this field, and I'm certainly not writing myself off.

"The big key for me tomorrow is to get out there and get focused on my own game, try to shoot four or five under par and - who knows - I might have a shot come Sunday afternoon."

PA

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