Tiger Woods eyeing another major after making record-breaking Masters cut

By Sports Desk April 12, 2024

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 lead shared by playing partner Max Homa, world number one Scottie Scheffler 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.

“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.”

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.”

With winds gusting up to 42mph, the pace of play was funereal and the penultimate group of Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele took six hours and two minutes to complete 18 holes.

Scheffler added a 72 to his opening 66 and Schauffele returned a second consecutive 72 to remain level par, but McIlroy struggled to a birdie-free 77 to slump to four over.

Defending champion Jon Rahm was a stroke further back following a 76, with the cut falling at six over to allow two-time winner Jose Maria Olazabal to make the weekend at the age of 58.

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    Scottie Scheffler was left "shocked and shaking" after his arrest in Kentucky, though the world number one delivered a superb second round at the PGA Championship.

    Scheffler was arrested ahead of play starting at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday.

    According to reports from ESPN, Scheffler faces charges of second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic.

    The start of Friday's second round in Kentucky was delayed due to a traffic incident outside the course, with it subsequently confirmed that one person had died in the incident, which did not involve Scheffler.

    Speaking to reporters after his second round, Scheffler said: "My main focus after getting arrested was wondering if I could be able to come back out here and play, and fortunately I was able to do that," he said.

    "I was never angry, just in shock and I was shaking the whole time. It was definitely a new feeling for me.

    "The officer that took me to the jail was very kind. He was great. We had a nice chat in the car, that kind of helped calm me down.

    "It was a chaotic situation and a big misunderstanding," he said. "It’ll get resolved fairly quickly I think. I was driving in this morning, trying to get to my warm-up time and I don’t really have an understanding what transpired.

    "I did numerous apologies but it was dark, it was raining and they had just had an accident. I didn’t know what had happened at the time but my heart goes out to the family.

    "At no point did I try to name-drop myself to defuse the situation. I just tried to remain as calm as possible and just follow instructions."

    Scheffler posted a five-under-par 66, moving to nine under for the tournament, and closing within three strokes of leader Xander Schauffele.

    Having carded a historic 62 on Thursday, Schauffele could only manage a 68 in his second round, allowing his rivals to close the gap.

    Collin Morikawa, who followed up his first-round 66 with an excellent 65, is one stroke back on 11 under. Sahith Theegala is third, on 10 under.

    Scheffler is then part of a group that also includes Bryson DeChambeau, Thomas Detry and Mark Hubbard.

    Reigning champion Brooks Koepka is two back from Scheffler on seven under.

    Rory McIlroy, however, endured a disappointing second round, with the Northern Irishman carding 71 to slide seven shots off the lead.

    Tiger Woods, meanwhile, missed the cut after a dismal round of 77.

  • World number one Scheffler arrested ahead of second round at PGA Championship World number one Scheffler arrested ahead of second round at PGA Championship

    World number one Scottie Scheffler was arrested ahead of the second round at the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.

    According to reports from ESPN, Scheffler faces charges of second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic.

    The start of Friday's second round in Kentucky was delayed due to a traffic incident outside the course.

    Louisville Metro Police Department said a bus had struck and killed a pedestrian in the incident, which Scheffler was reportedly attempting to navigate to enter the course.

    Pre-tournament favourite Scheffler carded a four-under-par 67 in the first round on Thursday, putting him five strokes behind early pacesetter Xander Schauffele. 

  • PGA Championship: McIlroy 'rode his luck' as he joins Scheffler and Koepka in chasing pack PGA Championship: McIlroy 'rode his luck' as he joins Scheffler and Koepka in chasing pack

    Rory McIlroy felt relieved to have salvaged a five-under 66 from a "scrappy" opening round at the PGA Championship as he and a host of other big names chase Xander Schauffele in Kentucky.

    Schauffele leads at Valhalla Golf Club after carding a historic 62 on the first day, with fellow Americans Tony Finau, Sahith Theegala and Mark Hubbard in a tie for second place at six under, three off the lead.

    McIlroy is in a large group that also contains Collin Morikawa, sitting four shots off the pace at –5.

    Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler are also among the prominent players chasing Schauffele, as they sit on four under after Thursday's action.

    It was a more difficult day for Jon Rahm, who shot a one-under 70, but he would have gladly taken that score when he had bogeyed four of his first six holes, while Tiger Woods is at +1 after a 72.

    McIlroy's last major win came in 2014 at this tournament and venue. He came into the event in form after two straight wins and remains in contention despite not playing at his peak.

    "I rode my luck a little bit," McIlroy said to Sky Sports. "I hope I can drive it like Rory in 2014 over the next few days as I didn't drive it very well [in round one]. 

    "My fairway woods were okay. My scrambling and iron play is coming together, so if I can do all that and hit fairways I am feeling pretty good.

    "I sort of felt like it was pretty scrappy for the most part. I don't really feel like I left many out there and I thought I got a lot out of my game.

    "Had some good up-and-downs, the chip-in on six. I had a little bit of a scrappy part around the turn there, but not really happy with how I played but I am at least happy with the score."

    Masters champion Scheffler will focus on his own game instead of focusing too much on Schauffele's stunning exploits.

    "Yeah, I mean, there's nothing I can do," Scheffler said. "Xander went out and played a great round in the morning, and I'm not really going to worry about trying to shoot 9-under. I'm just going to go out and try to hit good shots and play my own game.

    "I'd like to clean up a few of the mistakes. I missed two putts I felt like I should have holed, but that's going to happen when the greens get a little chewed up. A couple things I can clean up going into Friday, but overall it was a solid round."

    Woods, meanwhile, has accepted inconsistency will be part of his game at this stage of his career, but felt frustrated to end day one over par.

    "I am getting stronger for sure," Woods said. "It's just that I don't play a whole lot of competitive rounds. 

    "Each day is a little bit different. Some days, it's better than others. It's just the way it is. My body is just that way. Some days, it feels great, and others a bit of a struggle.

    "I struggled with the speed of the greens. It was a grind. I should have been under par for the day but I am over par and we have a long way to go.

    "It is a big-boy golf course. It has gotten longer or maybe I have just got shorter!"

    Schauffele sunk nine birdies in a bogey-free round to take the lead. It is just the fourth time a 62 has been carded at a major, with Schauffele matching the record both he and Rickie Fowler equalled in round one of the 2023 US Open.

    Branden Grace had previously gone round in 62 at The Open in 2017, though those efforts all came on par-70 courses, whereas Valhalla is a par-71.

    Schauffele also beat the course record of 63, set by Jose Maria Olazabal in 2000.

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