Roars return as Tiger back in contention at Masters


AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) – Major winners Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day and Adam Scott shared top spot at the Masters on Friday at the end of the second round, but it was Tiger Woods who commanded the spotlight once again at Augusta National.

Golf – Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 12, 2019 – Tiger Woods of the U.S. celebrates a birdie putt on the 15th hole during second round play. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Woods brought the roars back to the famed venue with a brilliant four-under-par 68, putting himself on track for a fifth Green Jacket. At six-under-par 138, the American is just one shot off the leaders heading into ‘moving day’.

After an ordinary outward nine featuring three birdies offset by a pair of bogeys, Woods embarked on one of his trademark charges, carding three birdies after the turn to shoot up the leaderboard.

It was like old times as the 43-year-old turned up the buzz with each shot, the roars echoing across Augusta National when Woods rolled in a long birdie putt at 15 and continued until he walked off the 18th where his birdie putt clung to the lip leaving him a tap-in par.

The Woods show overshadowed everything else.

Any other time, a hobbled Day might have might have been the story after getting up off the deck to shoot five-under 67.

Barely able to walk after throwing out his back bending over to kiss his daughter on the practice range on Thursday, the battling Australian somehow turned in a near flawless scorecard, with six birdies and a single bogey.

Italian Molinari carded an error-free 67 for his best round in eight Masters that put the British Open champion in contention for a Green Jacket to go along with the Claret Jug he hoisted last year.

Koepka, who had shared a one-shot overnight lead, also deserved applause, staging a back nine recovery after a stumbling start to the second round.

After a flawless opening round, Koepka had two bogeys and a double in his first six holes on Friday but the twice U.S. Open champion was able to regain his composure, steadying himself with six straight pars from the ninth.

He followed that with birdies at 15 and 18 to salvage a 71 and join the leaders at seven-under 137.

It also looked like old times for Australian Scott, the 2013 champion, who moved up the leaderboard with a four-under 68.

British Open winner Oosthuizen also joined the party with a 68, while world number two Dustin Johnson returned a two-under 70 who to join Woods at six-under.

Editing by Peter Rutherford

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