After 36 holes at Augusta National, Tiger Woods is eyeing up his fifth Masters victory. Woods lit up the back nine during Friday’s second round to shoot a four-under 68, leaving him one shot off the Masters lead.
Woods began the day slow and steady, opening his round with three straight pars. His made his first birdie of the second round at the par-3 3rd hole after sticking his tee shot to seven feet.
But Woods gave that shot right back at the difficult par-5 5th hole, a hole that burned him on Thursday as well. Not to be discouraged, Woods recorded another birdie at the par-3 6th, where he drained a 20-footer to move back to three under for the tournament.
That theme continued for the rest of the front nine. Woods made a bogey at the par-5 8th hole before dropping another birdie putt at 9.
As Woods teed it up on the 10th hole, he was one under on the day, and three under for the tournament, which placed him four shots off a group of leaders at seven under.
It turns out Woods was saving his greatest work for the back nine.
He made a textbook birdie at the infamous 11th hole, hitting his approach from the middle of the fairway to 13 feet and sinking that one to send the fans gathered at Amen Corner into a frenzy.
But after a great tee shot on the iconic par-3 12th, the horns blew, and all players were forced off the course due to lightning. Woods was forced to think over his five-footer for 30 minutes while everyone waited for the storms to pass. Once they finally got back on the course, Woods missed his putt and settled for par.
Just as if it seemed the weather delay had stymied his momentum, Woods came roaring back with consecutive birdies from the trees at 14 and 15. At 14, he buried a 28-footer to move to five under. At 15, he dropped a 30-foot bomb up the hill to reach six under.
Suddenly, Woods found himself just one shot behind the five former major champions tied at on top of the Masters leaderboard: Francesco Molinari, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen.
Woods had great chances to tie the leaders at 17 and 18, but his putts at both holes narrowly missed. He finished with a four-under 68 for the second round, leaving him at six under for the tournament.
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