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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Tiger Woods on course for 24th cut on the trot at Augusta

A marathon day at Augusta National began early with 27 golfers, including Woods, pulling double duty by finishing up weather-delayed first rounds before heading right back out onto a sun-bathed layout

Reuters, PTI Augusta Published 13.04.24, 10:23 AM
Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods File image

The Masters was poised for a second-round thriller on Friday with LIV Golf standard bearer Bryson DeChambeau sitting one shot clear of top-ranked Scottie Scheffler and Tiger Woods searching for some of his old major magic.

A marathon day at Augusta National began early with 27 golfers, including Woods, pulling double duty by finishing up weather-delayed first rounds before heading right back out onto a sun-bathed layout.

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With the first round complete, the stage is set for plenty of golfing drama up and down the leaderboard.

As always the spotlight will be on Woods as he bids for a record 24th consecutive made cut at Augusta National.

The winner of five Green Jackets, Woods has produced a long list of magical Masters moments and will need to conjure up one more after finishing his opening round on one-over 73.

Sitting at one-under through 13 holes, Woods made a tough assignment even more daunting with a bogey at the 14th, his first hole of the day, and closed out his opening round with another bogey at 18.

The 48-year-old is facing a challenge that is certain to test his will and injury-battered body.

Woods had played just 24 holes this year coming into the opening round and the 15-times major winner will try to play nearly as many in a single day as he eyes the Masters cut record and a sixth Green Jacket that he insists is within his reach.

At the top of leaderboard sit two of golf’s most intriguing figures, LIV Golf’s brash bomber DeChambeau and the soft-spoken Scheffler, who is dominating the PGA Tour with two wins and a runner-up finish in his last three starts.

DeChambeau used a sizzling burst of late birdies to muscle his way to seven-under 65 on Thursday while Scheffler also rode a late birdie blitz to card a bogey-free six-under-par 66.

Masters debutant Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark and world No. 11 Max Homa sit two shots behind the leader with 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, making his first start since shoulder surgery in September, three off the pace.

World No. 2 Rory McIlroy, in a high-profile group with Scheffler and Olympic champion Xander Schauffele, will look to build on his opening one-under 71 as the Northern Irishman makes a 10th attempt at completing a career grand slam of four majors.

Spaniard Jon Rahm, looking to become the fourth golfer to win back-to-back Green Jackets, will try to get his title defence on track after a lacklustre opening one-over 73.

Slow start

Akshay Bhatia lay tied 17th after completing 16 holes
on Day I, while Sahith Theegala was further down at tied 42nd with a one-over score in 11 holes as the Indian-American golfers got off to a sedate start.

Bhatia struck a couple of birdies against a bogey to be one-under before inclement weather halted proceedings. Theegala’s round was less eventful, dotted with a lone bogey on the second hole.

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