The Masters: Tiger Woods in misfiring start to second-round mission as Schwartzel makes his move

By Sports Desk April 08, 2022

Tiger Woods set off on his second round at Augusta with the wind blowing and the world watching as the five-time Masters champion looked to stay in contention.

After an opening one-under-par 71, Woods said he was "right where I need to be" at his comeback tournament, explaining he would require "lots of ice baths" before returning to action on Friday.

That is because his body is continuing to recover from the serious car accident in February 2021 that left him with major leg and foot injuries.

It is a surprise to many that Woods is competing this week, but he said ahead of the tournament that he believed he could win again, and Thursday's impressive round showed that was not merely bravado.

He teed off at 13:42 local time (18:42 BST), taking the driver off the tee and finding a large fairway bunker. From there he failed to hit the green, with Woods then unable to get up and down for par, rolling in for a bogey that nudged him back to level par.

The 46-year-old was champion at the Masters most recently in 2019, when he ended a run of 11 years without a major title.

He has 15 majors to date by his name, three behind record holder Jack Nicklaus.

Woods is playing his opening two rounds with Chile's Joaquin Niemann, who had a sparkling three-under 69 on Thursday. Louis Oosthuizen was part of the group but shot a 76 on day one and pulled out injured before the second round.

South African Charl Schwartzel won at Augusta in 2011 and made a significant move on Friday as a three-under 69, following an opening level-par 72, nudged him to within a shot of the lead, which was held by another former Masters winner in Danny Willett.

Willett made a birdie at his second hole of the day and stood at four under for the tournament early in his second round after an opening 69 on Thursday.

Im Sung-jae began at five under but slipped back to three under with three holes of his round remaining.

Australian Cameron Smith, who tied second at the Masters in 2020 and has two wins on the PGA Tour already this year, had a bizarre opening round on Thursday, with his four-under-par 68 bookended by double bogeys on the first and 18th holes.

The eight birdies he recorded between those calamitous holes pointed to Smith being a contender again this year.

Smith, 28, began on Friday with a dropped shot at the first, an improvement on how he got on in the opening round at the same hole but a blow nonetheless as it knocked him back to three under.

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