Tiger Woods made a mistake and then made a 36-foot putt, the signature moment in a 5-under 66 on Friday in the Quicken Loans National that put Woods in contention for his first victory in nearly two years.

Woods missed the green on No. 8, then birdied it anyway with that long putt. He was tied for fifth, three shots behind Ryo Ishikawa, who was even par for the day before he birdied the last three holes at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Ga. Ishikawa shot a 68 to reach 11 under, one shot ahead of Rickie Fowler, who also birdied the last three for a 65, and Kevin Chappell, who shot a 68.

Woods celebrated his key putt with a vintage fist pump and smile.

"If I keep hitting good putts, eventually they're going to go in," he said. "I made my share on my back nine and especially that bomb on eight. That was a bit lucky, but I'll take it."

Woods is the host and a two-time winner of the Quicken Loans National, which is being played at RTJ for the first time.

His 66 was his best score in relation to par this year and only his seventh round in the 60s. In eight previous starts this year, he missed three cuts and withdrew once. His best finish is a tie for 17th at the Masters.

Two years ago, Woods was ranked No. 1. Since then, he has had back surgery and changed his swing. Earlier this year, he struggled to make solid contact on basic chip shots. His ranking has plummeted to 266th.

"I know what I'm doing out there. It's just a matter of time before things start to click in," Woods said. "People want the immediate fix, the one tip that's going to work for the rest of their life. It doesn't work that way."


Pettersen leads in Scotland

Suzann Pettersen took a two-stroke lead into the weekend at the Women's British Open in Turnberry, Scotland, after being one of just two players to break 70 in a soggy second round.

Pettersen shot a 3-under 69 for a score that only looked better and better as a grueling day on the wind-beaten Ailsa links wore on. Maria McBride of Sweden was the only player to beat Pettersen's score, with a bogey-free 66, but she was still way off the pace after an opening-round 79.

Pettersen's 7-under 137 put her two shots clear of a quartet tied for second that included Lydia Ko, who shot a 73 in some of the worst conditions in the afternoon, when the winds gusted up to 25 mph.

College athletics

Court stays O'Bannon case

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday granted a stay of a federal judge's ruling last year in the so-called O'Bannon case, which found that NCAA rules preventing athletes from making money off college sports broadcasts and video games violated antitrust law.

The stay is at least a temporary reprieve for the NCAA and its decades-old rules barring payments to athletes. Without it, the association would have faced a new reality on Saturday in which colleges theoretically could have offered recruits unregulated money.

There is no timetable for a full ruling from the court, but in granting the stay the court noted that it was not an indication of how it might decide the case.


Lieberman to coach in NBA

Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman agreed to become an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings, joining Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs as a female NBA assistant coach.

Lieberman, 57, has been an assistant general manager of the Dallas Mavericks.

Warriors trade for big man

•The Golden State Warriors acquired forward/center Jason Thompson from the Philadelphia 76ers for forward Gerald Wallace, a player they had just received in a trade with Boston. Thompson, 29, played in 81 games last season with 63 starts, averaging 6.1 points and 6.5 rebounds in 24.6 minutes with seven double-doubles.

Auto racing

Kyle Busch lands on pole

Kyle Busch will start his drive for his fourth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup victory from a familiar spot, out front and in first.

Busch turned a lap of 178.416 mph at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., to win the pole for the first time during his sensational streak.

He also made it three straight Sprint Cup poles for Joe Gibbs Racing following back-to-back wins from Carl Edwards.

He's trying to become the first Sprint Cup driver since Jimmie Johnson in 2007 to win four straight races.

Kevin Harvick was second in qualifying, followed by Joey Logano and Austin Dillon.

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