G-Mac Back in Familiar Spot at Sherwood CC

Graeme McDowell admits he really likes playing at Sherwood Country Club, the site of Tiger Woods' annual World Challenge.

And the 33-year-old Northern Irishman showed Friday why he has such an affinity for the course, firing the best round through 36 holes, a 6-under 66, to take a three-stroke lead in the $4 million, 18-player event.

McDowell, whose previous victory came in the tournament in 2010 following his U.S. Open win earlier that year at Pebble Beach, carded seven birdies and a bogey to reach 9-under 135, three ahead of Bo Van Pelt (68), Jim Furyk (69) and Keegan Bradley (69).

"I actually putted a little better today," McDowell told reporters. "I managed to make a few."

Alone in fifth at 139 is Woods, who shot a 69, while another stroke back are Rickie Fowler (67) and first-round leader, Nick Watney, who followed up his opening 67 with a 1-over 73.

Despite posting a score only one stroke less than Thursday, Woods was pleased with his performance in the second round. "I certainly hit the ball a lot better today than I did yesterday," he said.

Jason Dufner shot a 68 to slide into eighth at 141, and another stroke back are Dustin Johnson (68) and Matt Kuchar (69). Webb Simpson shot a 73 to go to 143 with Brandt Snedeker, who went seven strokes better than his first-round 75 with a 68.

Filling out the field in 13th at even-par 144 are Zach Johnson (70), Steve Stricker (71) and Hunter Mahan (73).

Ian Poulter (72) and Bubba Watson (74) share 16th at 145, with Jason Day (75) at the bottom of the leaderboard at 146.

For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboards/current/r478/index.html.