Part of complete coverage on
'Incredible' Tiger Woods proves a class apart in California
December 7, 2013 -- Updated 1544 GMT (2344 HKT)
Tiger Woods hits another accurate tee shot on the way to a course record equaling 62 in California.
- Tiger Woods takes lead in World Golf Challenge in California
- Shoots course record equaling 62 at Sherwood Country Club
- Zach Johnson two shots behind after a 68
- Defending champion Graeme McDowell moves up with a 67
(CNN) -- Tiger Woods produced "incredible golf" to equal his own course record of 62 at Sherwood Country Club and take the halfway lead at the PGA Tour-sanctioned World Golf Challenge in California.
With ten birdies and no dropped shots, Woods justified his ranking as the top ranked player in the world and had other players expressing their admiration for his efforts.
Defending champion and playing partner Graeme McDowell shot a five-under 67 to keep his hopes alive but realized he had been very much second best on the day.
"It was cool to see that kind of golf," he told the official PGA Tour website.
Golf: The success stories of 2013
Garcia sorry for 'fried chicken' slur
Tiger Woods tonight on Unguarded
"He was under control. He hit it down the middle of every fairway. He didn't have that kind of violence with his speed through the ball."
Read: Tiger - Mandela inspired me
Matt Kuchar, in third place three shots adrift of Woods, was even more gushing.
"Amazing what Tiger did out there. It's just some incredible golf," Kuchar said.
"I kind of felt sorry for Graeme McDowell. I saw he posted a five-under-par round, and it must have felt like it was two or three over.
"It's tough when you're paired with a guy like that. It makes you feel like you're not doing much. But the rest of us just go about our business."
As for tournament host Woods, who is on 11-under 132 after halfway, his verdict was more restrained.
"It was good today," he said.
"I only made probably two putts that were downhill. I hit a lot of good shots, leaving myself in these spots so my putts weren't really that difficult to make."
Read: Woods prepares for 'emotional' farewell
First round leader Zach Johnson was the nearest challenger on nine-under after a 68. "Four-under is a nice score. Amazing what Tiger did out there. It's just some incredible golf," he said, repeating Kuchar's plaudit.
But others did not find it so easy and former world number one Rory McIlroy, who captured his first win of 2013 just last week at the Australian Open, slipped to a five-over 77 after a quadruple-bogey nine at the par-five 16th.
He was tied 16th in the elite 18-man field.
Part of complete coverage on
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 1159 GMT (1959 HKT)
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1536 GMT (2336 HKT)
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
April 28, 2014 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
April 24, 2014 -- Updated 1343 GMT (2143 HKT)
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1754 GMT (0154 HKT)
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
Bubba Watson is the Masters king, but can he win a major away from Augusta? Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue has the lowdown.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1412 GMT (2212 HKT)
Arnold Palmer won his first major at Augusta, played there with the U.S. President and made a record 50 consecutive Masters appearances.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1202 GMT (2002 HKT)
He is remembered for designing one of the world's most famous golf courses, but the man behind Augusta died pleading to be paid.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
Take a trip around Augusta. From Eisenhower's toppled tree to the fiendishly-difficult Amen Corner, the Masters' home venue has it all.
Today's five most popular stories