In relentless wind that began at sunrise and whipped up the Atlantic waters with 30 mph gusts, par never looked better in this championship. There were more rounds in the 90s two of them by club pros than in the 60s. There were 41 players who failed to break 80, a list that included Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan.
Singh, a three-time major champion who hasn't won in nearly four years, scratched out five birdies in a remarkable round of 3-under 69. Only three other players managed to break par in the second round Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter, all at 71.
Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland had a 70, but only some six hours after his round did he report a violation on himself. He had an embedded lie in a sandy area on the ninth hole, brushed sand away to identify his ball, and then forgot to re-create the original lie by replacing the sand. He notified PGA rules official of his oversight. Because it carries a two-shot penalty, Hoey was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.
For Woods, it's the second time this year that he has had a share of the lead in a major going into the weekend. He missed one chance at Olympic Club in the U.S. Open, when he stumbled to a 75-73 to tie for 21st. He was in the penultimate group at the British Open until a triple bogey on the sixth hole of the final round took him out of the mix.
One last major, one last shot.
"I've been in this position many times over my career," he said. "Again, we're just at the halfway point. We have a long way to go."
Six players were atop the leaderboard on this day of survival. Singh was the first to post at 4-under 140, and it didn't look as though anyone would be able to even match that as the wind never let up on The Ocean Course.
Pettersson stayed in the lead as long as he could until a few errant tee shots cost him at the end of his round and he had to settle for a 74.
Woods, playing on the opposite side of the course, showed early on that he figured out something with his putter. Along with birdie putts of 15 feet and 40 feet on the opening four holes, there was a collection of big par saves from 20 feet on the third hole, a pair of 8-foot par putts a few holes later. There were even two short par putts that swirled 360 degrees around the cup and dropped.
The only disappointment was the way it ended. After hooking a tee shot that rattled around the corporate tents and allowed him a shot into the 18th, he ran his birdie putt about 6 feet by the hole and three-putted for bogey.
In Sylvania, Ohio, Chella Choi shrugged off two bogeys to start the back nine, birdieing three late holes for a 4-under 67 and a one-shot lead after the second round of the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic. Choi, winless in her four years on the LPGA tour, started with a 66 and was at 9-under 133.
Vijay Singh -4
Tiger Woods -4
Carl Pettersson -4
Ian Poulter -3
Jamie Donaldson -2
Rory McIlroy -2
Phil Mickelson E
Third-round TV coverage
P Saturday: 9 a.m., TNT; noon, Ch. 2