Tiger Woods only one back as five share halfway lead at Augusta

Tiger Woods only one back as five share halfway lead at Augusta

Woods returned from spinal fusion surgery last year and contended at the British Open and PGA Championship then snapped a five-year US PGA Tour win drought at the Tour Championship and stretched his comeback story again Friday with no health issues after great play on one of golf's biggest stages.

One of those big birdies followed a freaky moment on the 14th hole. He failed to make the birdie putt after play resumed.

After two early birdies and a bogey, Woods missed an eight-foot par putt at the par-5 eighth hole and seemed destined for an unspectacular round.

The omens do appear to be mounting up regarding another triumph for Woods, who is this week wearing mock turtlenecks matching the style of shirts he wore when he last triumphed at Augusta in 2005. "Accidents happen, and we move on".

Molinari made his debut as a player in 2010 and recorded his best finish to date with a tie for 19th in 2012, but came into the event on the back of a stellar 12 months.

Woods burnt up the back nine - after his charge was briefly halted by a 25-minute weather delay - with some classic play from the four-time champion who well and truly looked back to his best.

The 29-year-old was eight shots off the lead as he signed his card, but low scores were the order of the day and the four-time major victor was certain to be too far back to mount a challenge on Sunday.

That left him just shy of the biggest co-leader pack ever after 36 holes at the Masters, the five one more than in 2017 and 1973 - each time the eventual victor coming from the top foursome.

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"Now I'm just going to rest".

"Didn't exactly feel comfortable so it was nice to get one at 18 to finish it", he said.

He made the only birdie on No. 11 all day, and hit his tee shot on the unsafe par-3 12th to 5 feet when the horn sounded.

"It was good, pretty solid, not many mistakes and when I missed greens I missed them on the good side, leaving myself pretty easy up and downs so all in all a very good day", Molinari said. 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.

Poulter enjoyed a massive slice of luck when his approach to the 13th stuck in the bank of Rae's Creek and allowed him to chip and putt for an unlikely birdie, but added: "I'm a little frustrated with a couple of missed opportunities towards the end there. I know I can play this golf course, just this week I have not played it well enough".

He shot rounds of 75 and 73.

Rose, Garcia and Willett, at four-over-par 148, missed by one stroke, while Schwartzel was two shots over the line.

As for Rory McIlroy, the career Grand Slam might need to wait another year. He was only seven shots behind, but he had 35 players in front of him.

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