McIlroy shares Masters lead, Woods flirting with cut

April 07 15:49 2018

Tiger Woods began yesterday’s second round of the Masters with a bogey at Augusta National, which proved formidable in windy conditions as elite golfers struggled and humbled leaders packed together.

American Patrick Reed was 7-under after eight holes with Australian Marc Leishman 5-under through 10 and American Charley Hoffman on 5-under after eight.

So Spieth remained calm despite losing a two-shot lead on the first two holes.

Chris DiMarco in 2001 shot par in the third round and two over in the fourth, and he finished tied for 10th.

Dressed in black from head to toe, Woods tried to approach his first shot like any other.

Rory McIlroy: 69-71 for McIlroy has the career Grand Slam well and truly within reach.

But the Masters patrons who flocked to watch the four-time champion’s first round of a Major tournament in 963 days did not see the dominant Woods of old.

“I know as well as anybody that anything can happen at Augusta National”, Spieth said, a vague reference to the lead he lost on the back nine in 2016 that kept him from winning consecutive green jackets. “It’s a place that I’m thankfully quite familiar with and know how to deal with”.

Meanwhile, all the leading stars were in trouble, as overnight leader Jordan Spieth had a double bogey-bogey start and those three dropped shots in the first two holes meant he was down to three-under.

Even some past champions were humbled, three-time Masters victor Phil Mickelson triple-bogeying the ninth to stand 1-over at the turn and past champ Fred Couples making triple bogey at 11 and on 1-over after 14.

He’d punch out from the trees on his next shot, then needed three more to hole out en route to a triple bogey.

“I hit my irons bad today, ” he said.

Woods struggled with distance control Friday in hard conditions and lamented a number of close misses on greens. He also knows it could have been worse, especially after dumping a 9-iron into Rae’s Creek on the par-3 12th hole and having to make a 15-foot putt for bogey and avoid falling to 4-over par. “I feel like I know where I need to leave the golf ball. and it’s now just going out here and executing the game plan and staying disciplined enough to actually stick to that game plan”. I was even for the day, 2 under for the tournament.

“I didn’t make a bogey after the sixth hole and I got through Amen Corner unscathed”. “But at the end of the day, if I just continue to play well and be in contention and win tournaments, it’s something I feel like that’s going to take care of itself”. I’m not in control of my own destiny.

“But it’s incredible to have the opportunity again, to still come out here and play this golf course”.

Three-time victor Phil Mickelson dropped five shots in four holes en route to a 79 and at five over is in danger of missing the cut.

The poor round left Woods, competing in his first major since 2015, just one shot above the cut-line but a distant 13 shots back of world number 24 Reed, who is hoping to pen a comeback of his own after missing the cut past year.

Two intangibles keeping Spieth and Mc Ilroy in the hunt

McIlroy shares Masters lead, Woods flirting with cut
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