Very clever is the one who could have predicted that Tiger Woods was going to qualify for the rounds of the weekend at the 86and edition of the Masters Tournament 14 months ago, when he almost lost his life. However, it was confirmed on Friday.
Updated yesterday at 7:48 p.m.
It resists cutting for the 22and consecutive time at the Augusta National. The third longest streak in history.
However, the tiger had started its day badly with four bogeys in its first five holes. His tee shots were imprecise, his approaches were rough, and his game on the greens was failing.
Besides, the more he progressed on the nine to go, the more the pain seemed unbearable. He was bending, stretching and leaning on his poles more regularly.
Nonetheless, he birdied in the eighth, and that’s when the five-green-jacket champion machine kicked into gear.
He acquired birdies at the 10and13and and 14and holes, after a more difficult passage in the Amen Corner.
Woods found his touch with his irons, especially at 16and hole, where he almost made a hole-in-one.
He finished his round with four consecutive pars.
He even received a standing ovation when he arrived on the green of 18and hole from the spectators. He also saved par with a very long putt of several dozen feet, which stopped less than two meters from the cup.
He concluded Friday with a total score of +1, in 19and position.
Woods finishes with a smile
In an interview after Friday, Woods was pleased with his performance.
Even though it wasn’t perfect, his main objective was to qualify for the rounds of the weekend, and that’s what he did.
By his own admission, he had bad bounces, and his tee shots missed a few times, but all in all, Woods was proud of his second round.
“I told Joe [son cadet] that the conditions were tougher today and that I had to aim for par. There were so many holes to play. »
Woods expects the conditions Augusta National usually offers for weekend laps. It will be colder on Saturday, but the ground will probably be very firm. It will be drier and also faster according to the experience of the tiger.
Regarding his physical condition, Woods was honest: “I’m not feeling as good as I would like,” he admitted with a laugh. “But it’s okay, I have a chance to play at the weekend, and that’s all that matters […]. I want to have a chance to be among the contenders in the back nine on Sunday, that’s where I see myself. »
Scottie Scheffler gives himself a comfortable lead
The world number one had been quite discreet during the first round on Thursday. Even though he had played – 3, Scottie Scheffler had gone a bit under the radar.
He made sure it didn’t happen again on Friday. With the Olympian calm that we know him, the 25-year-old golfer served a golf lesson by handing a card of 67 (- 5). He therefore took a five-shot priority on the eve of the weekend rounds.
The American pulled out of the game especially on the par 5s. He made a birdie on each of the four that make up the course.
Still, he had started his seesaw turn with two buggies on his first three holes. However, he excelled on the greens and was able to get out of trouble a few times when he found himself in precarious situations.
In the end, Scottie Scheffler was Scottie Scheffler: steady, calm and creative.
He never flinched from the seventh hole. Six birdies and no bogeys in 12 holes.
Four golfers follow him in the standings, all three at -3: former Green Jacket winner Charl Schwartzel, 2020 runner-up Sungjae Im, 2019 British Open winner Shane Lowry and champion tournament titleholder Hideki Matsuyama.
The cleaver has been set at +4, so 52 players will play Saturday and Sunday. 2013 champion Adam Scott and Canadian Mackenzie Hughes narrowly qualified on the last hole Thursday.
Several big names did not survive the cut. Among them, the winner of the 2015 edition, Jordan Spieth, the quadruple champion in major tournaments Brooks Koepka, the Olympic champion Xander Schauffele as well as Bryson DeChambeau, who is coming back from an injury.
Note that the Canadian Corey Conners finished the day tied in 10and position by being one under par.