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

Suggested Topics
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015