The Masters: Tiger Woods digs deep to stay in the mix


Tiger Woods bounced back from four bogeys in his opening five holes to put himself firmly in contention at the Masters.

Woods started badly on Friday at Augusta – so much so it looked at one point as if he would miss the cut.

But he roared back on the inward nine to stay in touch going into the weekend.

“I got off to a terrible start,” Woods admitted. “I hit some bad shots and got a couple of big gusts of wind.

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“But I am in the ball game and tomorrow is a big day.”

Things got off to a rocky start. Bogeys at the first, third, fourth and fifth had many believing the exertions of Thursday’s opening round – Woods’ first for more than 500 days – had been too much.

But those who feared the worst had failed to consider the resolve which brought Woods so much success in his pomp.

Each time things got tricky, Woods steadied the ship. In tough conditions, those opening bogeys were followed by birdies at eight and ten. Two more at 13 and 14 put right the damage caused by dropped shots at 11 and 12.

It was a battling performance for the most part, and there were signs of discomfort. On the ninth, he noticeably winced, dropping his club on his follow-through after his second shot, while he clearly struggled to crouch to read putts.

“I am feeling it,” Woods admitted.

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“We have some work to do tonight and we will play it by ear. We’ll see what time we’re off [on Saturday] and time it accordingly.

There were flashes of vintage Woods on Friday.

The second to the tenth was his shot of the day, taking an aggressive line and stiffing it a foot from the cup. So, too, the clutch putts we have come to expect over two-and-a-half decades of brilliance.

A score of two-over for the day was decent all things considered, and saw Woods safely through to the weekend. With the first two rounds safely negotiated, expect more fireworks over the weekend as he attempts the seemingly impossible.

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