| Tiger Woods blasts out of the sand trap at the Augusta Masters
Augusta, April 12 (Reuters): Tiger Woods needed all his considerable nerve and shot-making brilliance to beat the cut at the rain-hit 67th US Masters Saturday.
Top stars including David Duval, Colin Montgomerie, Seve Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus missed the cut.
The runaway world No. 1 needed a par at his 18th, the ninth hole, to finish right on the cut-off mark of five-over-par 149 with a second round of 73.
But a drive into the pines and an approach into a greenside bunker left him scrambling to keep his streak of 101 consecutive cuts going. He had only missed one, the 1997 Canadian Open, since turning professional seven years ago.
Woods conjured a super sand-shot to three feet and then coolly holed out for the all-important par four which kept him among the 49 qualifiers from the 93 who teed off in Friday’s first round.
It still left him trailing leader Mike Weir by 11 shots who was on six-under-par 138 after two rounds.
Woods was convinced he could still mount a charge for an unprecedented third straight green jacket but Saturday’s ideal, sunny conditions did not lead to an easy ride for him.
He double-bogeyed the par-three fourth hole that moved him to four-over-par and then went bogey-birdie-bogey over the next three holes and needed that par on the ninth to make the cut.
“I pretty much knew that was going to be the number,” Woods said after his round. “Had to hit it waist high to get it out of there.” Woods last missed the cut in a Major in 1996, when he missed out at the Masters after shooting a six-over-par 150 as an amateur.
Players who missed the cut this year included former champions Larry Mize, Tom Watson, Ballesteros, Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Other players of note who missed the cut were Ireland’s Padraig Harrington at six-over-par 150, and 1996 British Open champion Tom Lehman and two-time US Open champion Lee Janzen at seven-over-par 151.
Colin Montgomerie finished at ten-over par-154 and missed the cut along with 1997 British Open champion Justin Leonard at 11-over-par 155.
Former world No. 1 Duval shot 79-83 to finish at 18-over-par 162 and missed the cut by 13 shots.