Tiger Woods found the going somewhat tougher at Augusta National than in recent weeks on his comeback, shooting a three-over 75 to make the cut by two but leaving him 13 back from second-round leader Patrick Reed.
Despite the pre-tournament hype, Woods’ challenge was effectively over by Friday 3pm.
Playing in his first Masters since 2015, he had a shaky time and hit a number of poor shots in a round watched by his mother, Kultida, and girlfriend Erica.
The 42-year-old hit a wonderful drive off the first but short-sided himself and didn’t get his chip to stay on the green. Opening with a bogey, he then pulled his drive at the second – a shot US TV analyst Brandel Chamblee said Woods “must” be able to hit if he is able to mount a Green Jacket challenge. Woods had to play down and walked off with a par.
He took an unplayable lie at the fifth after hitting his approach into the bushes and, after that, he was simply hanging on.
For the second day running, Amen Corner grabbed him by the throat as he found the water on 12, before picking up the first of only two birdies of the day at 13, with another at 15.
Woods’ iron play was poor – he hit only ten greens – and his putting was off. But he says he’s thankful to be on the grounds at Augusta National and says he needs something truly ‘special’ on the weekend to figure at all.
“To be able to play golf again is incredible,” said Woods. “I’m going to have to shoot a special weekend and need help. I’m so far back. I need to go out and shoot something mid-60s and do the same on Sunday.”