AUGUSTA, Ga. — Five-time Masters champion Tiger Woods will be around for the weekend in his return to Augusta National Golf Club.
Woods, who is playing for the first time since he was seriously injured in a car wreck in February 2021, fought his way through early struggles and windy conditions to card a 2-over 74 in the second round on Friday. He is 1 over after 36 holes.
It was another wild ride for the 15-time major champion. Woods had six bogeys — the first time he had that many at the Masters since the second round in 2007 — and four birdies. He bogeyed four of the first five holes on the first nine and birdied three of the first five on the second nine.
After struggling to hit fairways in the first round, Woods hit 10 of 14 on Friday. He hit 9 of 18 greens in regulation but didn’t scramble or putt as well as he did on Thursday.
After recording bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12, Woods dropped back to 3-over for the tournament and seemed to be in danger of missing the cut. But then he caught a big break on the par-5 13th hole. With 223 yards left to the hole after his tee shot, Woods fanned his second shot with a 5-wood to the right. His ball stopped just short of Rae’s Creek.
Once his ball stopped, Woods told his caddie, Joe LaCava, “Perfect layup.” They both laughed.
Woods was able to get up and down with a brilliant chip shot to 3 feet. The birdie moved him back to 2 over for the tournament, which was 2 shots better than the projected cut line of 4 over.
On the next hole, Woods hit a 305-yard drive down the middle of the fairway. His approach shot from 145 yards hit the green and spun back toward the hole. He made a 9-footer for his second straight birdie.
Woods also had two more good birdie chances, but missed a 17-footer on No. 15 and an 11-footer on 16.
Woods couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. After starting the round 3 shots behind leaders Sungjae Im and Danny Willett, Woods hit his first tee shot into a fairway bunker and bogeyed No. 1 for the 23rd time in his Masters career. He then bogeyed Nos. 3, 4 and 5. He missed a 7-foot par putt on the par-4 third hole and a 14-footer on the par-4 fifth. After going 7-for-9 in scrambling in the first round, Woods was just 1-for-5 in the first nine holes on Friday.
It was just the second time in Woods’ career that he started a round in a major championship with a score of 5 or worse on three consecutive holes, according to ESPN Stats & Information. His score of 3-over was his worst through four holes in 92 rounds at Augusta National.
Woods seemed to correct things from there, however. After carding pars on Nos. 6 and 7, Woods finally made a birdie on a par-5 at the eighth hole. He hit his second shot just short of the green, chipped up to 2 feet and made a kick-in birdie.