Tiger Woods made the cut at the Masters after a roller-coaster Friday, continuing his excellent return to competitive golf. The five-time Masters champion had to overcome a poor start to his round before an up-and-down back nine helped him recover.
It came on a day of thrills and spills, including a hole-in-one for a veteran golfer and a player losing his clubhead after hitting the ball. But eventually, Woods carded a two-over 74 to finish at one over for the tournament so far and ensure he’ll be playing over the weekend.
The 46-year-old superstar, whose February 2021 car crash left him with severe injuries he feared losing his right leg, said that just being able to play his first competitive round in 17 months was a victory.
But it might not be the only one he celebrates this week.
“I was able to finish up in the red,” Woods said. “I’m right where I need to be.”
Woods was tied for 10th, four shots behind South Korean Im Sung-Jae, who launched his round with three straight birdies and finished with five birdies and an eagle in his five-under-par 67.
Like Im chasing a first major title, Australian Cameron Smith was a stroke back after a 68 that was all the more remarkable considering double bogeys bookended it at the first and 18th holes.
Woods had indicated as recently as February that he was unlikely to be ready to tee it up in the first major of the year and said all week that his biggest challenge would be negotiating the hilly, 7,510-yard Augusta National course on his surgically repaired right leg.
“It did not get easier, let’s put it that way,” he said after a round in blustery winds that lasted nearly five and a half hours. “I can swing a golf club. The walking’s not easy.
Struggled in the second round
With a large crowd watching on and anticipation in the air, the 15-time major winner stepped up and blasted his ball down the first hole, only for it to find the bunker on the right of the fairway.
He would end up bogeying the opening hole, moving him back to even par for the tournament.
And his slow start to the second round continued over the next two holes, rescuing a par on the par-five second hole before missing a short putt on the third hole for his second bogey in three holes, putting him at one-over par.
Unfortunately for Woods, another bogey was to follow on the par-three fourth hole when his par putt fell just inches short. According to the PGA Tour, the three-over through four holes start is Woods’ worst score through four holes in 92 career rounds at the Masters Tournament.