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Tiger Woods Turns in Second-Round 74, Moving Onto Weekend at Masters

The five-time champion at Augusta National had a slow start but a better second nine while still showing signs of physical struggle.

Tiger Woods half bent over and half squatted down to flick away some leaves from his ball in the 18th fairway. He inhaled deeply and blew the air out through his mouth, then did it again. A five-hour slog was about to end and Woods had exerted every bit of his physical and mental willpower to shoot 74 Friday afternoon in the second round of the Masters.

Having acknowledged that he experiences pain 24 hours a day, Woods will endure a night of ice baths and ice packs on his injured leg and ankle and report for work for Saturday’s third round at 1-over par 145 for 36 holes. He's nine shots behind leader Scottie Scheffler.

Woods’ second round started problematically. He made bogeys on four of his first five holes and nearly every shot he missed was weak and to the right — the tee shot and second at the first, the tee shot at the second, tee shot and second at the third, tee shot at the fourth, tee shot at the fifth.

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However, every time it appeared that Woods had the opportunity to resign to the fact that perhaps he just wasn’t quite ready to make this comeback, he summoned up whatever it is – courage, determination, inner strength – that has made him perhaps the greatest of all time.

He made birdie at the par-5 eighth and carved a long iron from a sidehill, downhill lie to a back right pin at the 10th for a kick-in birdie. Weary-looking bogeys at the 11th and 12th were followed by a precision pitch to a couple of feet for birdie at the 13th and another at the 14th. Four pars brought him home, maybe not with a chance to win but the right to fight another day.

His limp worsened as the day went on and although Woods rarely shows pain openly, his face was never relaxed. Was Friday a success? Not from the point of view of contending for a sixth green jacket. But as a matter of survival, Woods won the day.