- Tiger Woods seven shots off the lead at halfway in PGA Tour's Frys.com Open
- Woods rebounds with 68 to avoid missing successive cuts for first time in career
- Ernie Els fails to claim halfway lead after completing second round on Saturday
- South African tied for second after a 66, one shot behind England's Paul Casey
Tiger Woods insists he is in contention to win his first golf title in almost two years after avoiding missing consecutive halfway cuts for the first time in his career.
The 14-time major winner bounced back from a disappointing opening-round 73 at the fog-delayed Frys.com Open in California to shoot three-under-par 68 on Friday in his first PGA Tour event since August.
That left him tied for 41st after the rest of the field completed their second rounds on Saturday, with the former world No. 1 seven shots behind leader Paul Casey of England.
"I don't like missing cuts, period. If I miss the cut, that means you can't win the tournament on the weekend. I've got a shot at it this weekend," the American told reporters.
Woods' last title came in November 2009 before the scandal broke about his marital infidelities, and he has since dropped out of the top 50 due to injuries and a transitionary period rebuilding his swing with coach Sean Foley.
He is also playing with a new caddy, Joe LaCava, as he warms up for the Presidents Cup teams event in Australia next month by playing in the minor fall season tournament for the first time.
"I've come off of injuries before in the past, but it's always been the same swing. It's pretty easy to come back to that. But when you're implementing changes, it's nice to have more competitive reps to fall back to because as of right now, I haven't had that many competitive reps with Sean," he said.
"It's always a progression. You've got to do it on the range at home and got to do it on the golf course and at home, and eventually here and down the stretch and then in major championships and win those bad boys."
Casey completed a 64 on Friday to be one clear of Bud Cauley, who was caught by Ernie Els on seven-under 135 when the veteran South African matched the American's 66 on Saturday.
Els could have taken the lead, but parred his last two holes at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin.
Australia's Nathan Green matched Casey's 64 to be tied for fourth on 136 with Americans Garrett Willis (69), Troy Matteson (68) and Briny Baird (69).