Tiger Woods not giving up on his dream of a 16th major title

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Woods is seven shots off the clubhouse lead at Augusta National after making a record 24th consecutive cut.
Posted on
April 12, 2024
by
The Editorial Team in
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Tiger Woods refused to give up on his dream of a 16th major title after making a record 24th consecutive cut in the Masters on another windswept day at Augusta National.

Woods completed 23 holes in more than seven hours on the course on Friday, a remarkable effort from the injury-ravaged 48-year-old which prompted a standing ovation from the spectators around the 18th green.

The five-time Masters champion had to shield his face from sand whipped from the bunkers on the last before tapping in to complete a second round of 72 for a halfway total of one over par.

That left Woods seven shots off the clubhouse lead shared by playing partner Max Homa and Bryson DeChambeau, who could only add a 73 to his opening 65.

“It means I have a chance to win the golf tournament,” Woods said.

“I’m right there. I don’t think anyone is going to run off and hide right now, but it’s really bunched. The way the ball is moving on the greens, chip shots are being blown, it’s all you want in a golf course today.”

Asked about his 24th consecutive cut, Woods – who had shared the record of 23 with Freddie Couples and Gary Player – said: “I’ve always loved playing here.

“I’ve been able to play here since I was 19 years old. It’s one of the honours I don’t take lightly, being able to compete.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods shields his face from the blowing sand on the 18th hole during the second round of the Masters (Ashley Landis/AP)

“The years I have missed, I wish I was able to play because there’s such an aura and mystique about playing this golf course that, unless you have played and competed here, you probably don’t really appreciate.”

Woods was one of 27 players unable to complete their first rounds on Thursday following a lengthy weather delay, the 15-time major winner covering his first 13 holes in one under par.

Play resumed at 0750 local time (1250BST) on Friday and Woods bogeyed the 14th and 18th to complete a 73 which left him with just 49 minutes to rest, refuel or practise before he got his second round got under way.

A rollercoaster front nine consisted of three pars, three bogeys and three birdies, including a superb chip-in on the sixth, with a more sedate back nine adding up to a battling 72.

“It’s been a long day,” Woods said with a smile. “It was a good fight.

“This golf course will expose any weaknesses you have, the greens are quick right now and this wind is all over the place. It was a great test.”

Coming into the week, Woods had played fewer than five-and-a-half competitive rounds since undergoing ankle surgery in April last year after withdrawing from the Masters during the third round.

He returned to action in the Hero World Challenge in December and completed all 72 holes, but was forced to withdraw from the Genesis Invitational in February due to illness after six holes of the second round.

Asked what it was like playing alongside Woods after adding a 71 to his opening 67, Homa said: “It was awesome. It really is a dream to get to play with him here.

“I always wanted to just watch him hit iron shots around here, and I was right up next to him. It was really cool. His short game was so good. I don’t think I can explain how good some of the chip shots he hit today were.

“He’s special. We had a really quick turnaround, and if I was feeling tired and awful, I imagine he was feeling even worse.

“And on 18, we had sandblasts for 45 seconds, and I turned around five times so I didn’t get crushed in the face, and he’s standing there like a statue and then poured it right in the middle.

“So all the cliches you hear about him and all the old stories about how he will grind it out, it was fun to see that in person.

Danny Willett’s bid for an unlikely second Masters title in his first event since undergoing shoulder surgery suffered a massive blow with a triple bogey on the 18th which dropped him five shots off the lead.

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