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The Masters: Tiger Woods conquers marathon 23-hole day to make record-breaking 24th consecutive cut at Augusta

<i>Mike Blake/Reuters via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Tiger Woods acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green after completing his second round to secure a record-breaking 24th consecutive cut at the Masters.
Mike Blake/Reuters via CNN Newsource
Tiger Woods acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green after completing his second round to secure a record-breaking 24th consecutive cut at the Masters.

By Jack Bantock, CNN

(CNN) — Tiger Woods delivered another solid performance on a marathon Friday at Augusta National to break the record for most consecutive cuts made at the Masters.

Making just his third competitive start since he limped out of the tournament just after the halfway mark a year ago, the 48-year-old had arrived at the 88th edition of the major amid concerns over his capability to endure the fabled course’s hilly terrain.

Woods – still suffering the impact of leg injuries sustained in a 2021 car crash – did little to allay such fears ahead of the tournament, revealing that he would be playing with painkillers to help combat the hurts and aches felt “every day”.

Yet after going one-under par through 13 holes before darkness suspended Thursday’s storm-delayed first round, the five-time Masters champion overcame wind and weariness to finish one-over after 23 more holes Friday.

A second round even-par 72 improved upon an opening one-over 73 and – with the projected cut-line at four-over par as he returned to the clubhouse – guaranteed Woods’ record-breaking 24th straight weekend at Augusta National.

The 15-time major winner had shared the honor of longest running streak for cuts made at the tournament with Gary Player (1959 – 1982) and Fred Couples (1983 – 2007).

“I’m here. I have a chance to win the golf tournament,” Woods replied when asked by reporters what the milestone means to him.

“Just need some food and some caffeine, and I’ll be good to go.”

Eight shots adrift of round one leader Bryson DeChambeau when he finished his round, it will likely require something extraordinary for Woods to fulfil his dream of levelling Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record of six Masters titles.

Yet the 82-time PGA Tour champion – insistent he can win one more green jacket – has made a career out of extraordinary comebacks and took heart from gusting conditions that have blustered up scores across the field.

“I’m right there. I’m only eight back as of right now,” Woods said.

“I don’t think anyone is going to run off and hide right now, but it’s really bunched. The way the ball is moving on the greens, chip shots are being blown, it’s all you want in a golf course today.”

‘There’s such an aura and mystique about playing this golf course’

Despite a new caddie and a new look, there have been flashes of old brilliance dotted throughout the week.

After parting ways with longtime caddie Joe LaCava, Woods partnered with veteran PGA Tour caddie Lance Bennett in February, a month after he called time on his 27-year partnership with Nike.

Donning his Sun Day Red apparel – released in collaboration with TaylorMade – at Augusta National, Woods rolled back the years at various points, starting with an audacious left-handed chip to escape the trees on Thursday.

Friday was highlighted by a stunning chip in birdie at the sixth and an approach that stopped on a dime two holes later that delighted patrons.

Woods remains a huge crowd favorite at Augusta National, and received a rousing reception as he tapped in for a closing par before he was embraced by playing partner Rory McIlroy.

“I’ve always loved playing here, I’ve been able to play here since I was 19 years old,” Woods said.

“It’s one of the honors I don’t take lightly, being able to compete. The years I have missed, I wish I was able to play because there’s such an aura and mystique about playing this golf course that I don’t think – unless you have played and competed here – you probably don’t really appreciate.”

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