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
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1140 GMT (1940 HKT)
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1131 GMT (1931 HKT)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
Today's five most popular stories