Tiger Woods makes late start in Augusta Masters astonishing comeback | Golf news

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Tiger Woods continues his remarkable comeback from serious leg injuries on Friday with an afternoon start time at the Masters, the legend firmly entrenched in the title battle early in the second round. The 15-time major champion battled through the pain to hike the hilly 7,510-foot Augusta National layout, firing a one-under par 71 on Thursday’s opening round to tie for 10th place. “I’m exactly where I need to be,” Woods said. Woods was four strokes behind South Korean leader Im Sung-jae after 18 holes, remaining so far adrift in windy conditions early Friday.

A failed chip cost me a bogey on the first hole, but he sank a 24-foot birdie putt on the par-4 third to return to 5-under, one stroke ahead of late-starting Australian Cameron Smith and 2020 Masters winner Dustin Johnson, who opened at 69 and sank a six foot birdie putt on the par-3 fourth.

“I have the stamina to keep going,” Woods said. “There is still a long way to go and a lot of shots to be played.

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“This golf course is going to change and it’s going to be a lot more difficult.”

Woods made an astonishing return to competition 14 months after a car accident in Southern California left him with serious injuries to his right leg.

Rods, plates and pins help keep his leg together after being hospitalized for weeks and unable to walk for months.

Rehabilitation work has enabled the 46-year-old medical prodigy to make an epic comeback in an iconic setting.

“I’m as sore as I expected, but it was amazing,” Woods said.

Woods, who finished 10th after the first lap, would tee off at 1:41 PM (1741 GMT) in Friday’s penultimate group alongside South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Chile’s Joaquin Niemann.

Between rounds, Woods soaked his leg in icy water to reduce swelling while trying to keep it strong for Friday’s shot.

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“A lot of ice baths. I just freeze myself to death. That’s just part of the deal,” Woods said. “Getting all the swelling out as best you can and getting mobile and warmed up, activated and explosive for the next day.”

I shot 67 on Thursday for a one-stroke lead over Smith, with whom he shared second behind Johnson at the 2020 Masters, played in November due to Covid-19. That was the last top-level event Woods had played before Thursday.

‘Electric’ atmosphere

Thousands of spectators lined every hole of the famed course on Thursday to cheer on Woods in his astonishing quest for a record-breaking sixth green jacket after he once feared losing his leg.

“Walking isn’t easy,” Woods said. “With all the hard work, my leg, it will be hard for the rest of my life. That’s just the way it is, but I can do it.”

Woods energized the crowd of supporters through the same layout where he won his first major title 25 years ago and claimed his most recent major title in 2019 – when he made a stellar comeback after spinal fusion surgery.

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“The place was electric,” Woods said. “To have that kind of energy was great to feel.”

Woods, who has fallen to 973rd in the world rankings, would match Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record with a win and break the record he shares with Sam Snead of 82 American PGA career victories.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who was looking for a green jacket to complete a Grand Slam career, faltered his approach on the par-5 from second to two feet and made a birdie putt to level par for the tournament reachable after an opening 73.

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McIlroy has not won a major title since 2014.

(This story was not edited by The US Express News staff and was generated automatically Platforms.)

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