Tiger Woods shot an 11-under-par 61 in the second round of the Buick Open yesterday in Grand Blanc, Mich., matching both the best round of his career and the tournament record.

Woods heads into the weekend 12 under, one shot behind defending champion Vijay Singh.

His previous 61s came at the 2000 NEC Invitational and the 1999 Byron Nelson Classic. He tied the Buick Open record Billy Mayfair set in 2001.

The world's top-ranked golfer turned a good round -- 5-under 31 at the turn -- into a spectacular one with an eagle-eagle-birdie-birdie stretch among the 13-16th holes.

"That was a nice little bonus," he said.

If Woods had birdied his final two holes, he would have finished with a 59, tying the PGA Tour record shared by three players.

David Duval was the last to shoot 59, in the final round of the 1999 Bob Hope Classic.

Woods became the third PGA Tour player to make back-to-back eagles this year. Lee Janzen and Tag Ridings did it at the Bob Hope Classic. He is the fourth to do it at the Buick Open, a tournament that started in 1958.

He is playing in his first tournament in two weeks, since his five-shot victory at the British Open, and two weeks before the PGA Championship, where he'll shoot for his 11th major title.

* CHAMPIONS TOUR: On the day Arnold Palmer bowed out of his final major championship, Tom Watson took a step toward winning yet another.

Watson, chasing his second senior major in as many weeks, shot a 6-under 65 and was tied with Craig Stadler and Loren Roberts for the second-round lead in the U.S. Senior Open in Kettering, Ohio.

The leaders were upstaged by Palmer's post-round declaration that he would no longer play in major championships. In his 50 years of Grand Slam competition, Palmer won 12 majors, five as a senior.

"My tournaments are getting down to a very few," Palmer said after completing an 81 that left him at 166, missing the cut by 11 strokes. "As far as trying to compete in major championships such as the Open and other tournaments, this is it."

Tears glistened in his eyes as he waved, doffed his visor and even bowed to the huge gallery which gave him a standing ovation as he finished his round.

* LPGA TOUR: Jeong Jang took a four-stroke lead at the Women's British Open after a second-round 66; meantime, Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie fell eight shots back in Southport, England.

Jang, a 25-year old from South Korea, is seeking her first tour victory in six years as a pro.

"I just need to think about my golf, about the golf course and I think I will be okay," she said. "But it will be hard."

Her closest rival, Swedish amateur Louise Stahle, shot a 65.

Wie, 15, was frustrated at shooting her second-best round in a major, yet still fell further behind the leader. Though she had a huge stroke of good fortune.

Her third shot on No. 17 appeared to be sailing into further trouble, just missing a greenside pot bunker and bouncing on the side of a mound before turning right and rolling onto the green. She made the 9-foot putt for birdie.

"It was, like, the best birdie I made, like, ever," she said.

* ELS IS OUT: Ernie Els will miss the rest of the season following knee surgery. Els, ranked No. 3, had surgery on his left knee Thursday after sustaining an injury while on a sailing vacation last week.

Tiger Woods shot a 61 at the Buick Open. It tied both a tournament record and his personal record.