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Tiger Woods makes cut at the Masters in extraordinary return following long injury layoff

By Ben Morse, CNN

Tiger Woods made the cut at the Masters after a roller coaster Friday, continuing his excellent return to competitive golf, and is scheduled to tee off at 1 p.m. in Saturday’s third round.

The five-time Masters champion had to overcome a poor start to his round, before an up-and-down back nine helped him recover and put him in a tie for 19th.

It marks his 22nd consecutive cut at the famed tournament, one shy of the record held by Fred Couples and Gary Player.

It came on a day of thrills and spills, including a hole-in-one for a veteran golfer and a player losing his club head 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.

“Well, I don’t feel as good as I would like to feel. That’s OK,” Woods told the media afterward. “As I said, I’ve got a chance going into the weekend. Hopefully I’ll have one of those light bulb moments and turn it on in the weekend and get it done. You’ve seen guys do it with a chance going into the back nine. If you are within five or six going into the back nine, anything can happen. I need to get myself there. That’s the key. I need to get myself there.

“Tomorrow will be a big day. It’s going to be cool. It’s going to be tough. Again, the wind is supposed to blow again and tough scoring conditions. I need to go out there and handle my business and get into the red and get myself a chance going into that back nine on Sunday.”

Scottie Scheffler — who was recently named world No. 1 after a run of excellent form — produced a late burst with a five-under par 67 Friday, to shoot into the lead at the halfway point of the Masters, with an overall eight-under par 136 and a five-stroke lead, a record after 36 holes.

Tale of the day

Woods capped off a remarkable comeback to golf Thursday as he carded a one-under 71 in the opening round at Augusta National.

The 46-year-old Woods displayed all his poise and experience to finish near the top of the leaderboard, just four shots behind leader Im Sung-jae at the end of the day.

As he looks to complete what would be another fairy-tale story and make the cut in his first appearance in a professional golf tournament since his February 2021 car crash, Woods hoped for more of the same on day two of the 2022 Masters.

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.

It got worse for Woods still, as another bogey on the fifth hole dropped him to three over for the tournament.

However, from there, Woods slowly recovered. He earned hard-fought pars on holes 6 and 7 before a vital birdie on the eighth hole helped drag him back to two over.

And the recovery only got better from there, with the shot of his second round so far coming on the 10th hole, leaving him with a very short putt for a second birdie in three holes, which dragged him to one over.

But just when it looked like he was on the way back, things took a turn for the worse for Woods.

Following his birdie on the 10th, he carded two successive bogeys on the 11th and 12th as the wind swirled around and undid his recent hard work.

However, the roller coaster continued over the next two holes. Having picked up two successive bogeys, Woods collected two successive birdies to once again position himself at one over par.

Woods did manage to wrestle some sense of stability to his round over the final four holes of his round, finishing with four straight pars to leave him with a two over par 74.

After the rocky opening he went through — including four bogeys in five holes — it is a testament to Woods’ fighting spirit he was able to battle back and earn a chance to compete for the green jacket over the next two days.

An unbelievable story

Nobody expected Woods to be playing at the Masters this year.

Following a car crash in February 2021 in which he sustained serious leg injuries, he has only appeared in public on a golf course just once, at the PNC Championship in December with his son Charlie. Then Woods used a golf cart to help him get around the course.

Speculation first began to mount regarding Woods’ participation in the tournament when his private jet was sighted landing at an airport near Augusta last week.

And a few practice rounds before the Thursday’s opening round only heightened the rumor. Woods said on Monday it would “be a game-time decision” on whether he plays at the Masters.

He confirmed his participation later in the week, and has been the main draw at the tournament — drawing huge swathes of patrons and media attention — as he makes his way around the Augusta National course.

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