Cameron Smith fights again as Tiger Woods makes minimize, finishes with 74

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The wind roaring by the Georgia pines gave Tiger Woods and so many others all they might deal with Friday in The Masters.

After which Scottie Scheffler made it really feel even more durable.

In his debut as the brand new No. 1 participant on this planet, Scheffler seemed the half. He was bogey-free over the ultimate 15 holes for a 5-under 67, tying the Masters file by constructing a five-shot lead going into the weekend.

Solely 4 different gamers in Masters historical past have led by 5 photographs after 36 holes, most just lately Jordan Spieth in 2015. All of them went on to win.

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“I put myself in place, the place I am in place to win this golf match. I could not ask for something extra after 36 holes,” Scheffler mentioned. “My sport feels prefer it’s in a great place. I’ve simply acquired to maintain doing what I am doing and never overthink issues.”

Scheffler, the 25-year-old Texas Longhorn, has received three of his final 5 begins on the PGA Tour and does not look like overwhelmed by the stage of Augusta Nationwide.

He was at 8-under 136, 5 photographs away from defending champion Hideki Matsuyama (69), former champion Charl Schwartzel (69), former British Open champion Shane Lowry (68) and 18-hole chief Sungjae Im (74).

Australian Cam Smith fought again with two late birdies to stay in rivalry.

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Smith began the day at 4 underneath however was again to even because the wild Augusta climate wreaked havoc on the star-studded area.

Nevertheless, birdies on the fifteenth and 18th helped Smith climb again up the leaderboard the place he’s at present in a tie for seventh, to stay at 2-under for the match.

Woods was 9 photographs behind, a frightening activity even on two good legs.

Regardless of 4 bogeys after 5 holes, Woods patched collectively a 74 and made it to the weekend in his first 72-hole occasion for the reason that November 2020 Masters.

“Nicely, I do not really feel pretty much as good as I wish to really feel. That is okay,” Woods informed the media afterwards.

“As I mentioned, I’ve acquired an opportunity going into the weekend. Hopefully I will have a kind of mild bulb moments and switch it on within the weekend and get it accomplished. You have seen guys do it with an opportunity going into the again 9. In case you are inside 5 or 6 going into the again 9, something can occur. I must get myself there. That is the important thing. I must get myself there.

Tomorrow can be a giant day. It should be cool. It should be robust. Once more, the wind is meant to blow once more and hard scoring situations. I must go on the market and deal with my enterprise and get into the crimson and get myself an opportunity going into that again 9 on Sunday.”

Scheffler leads the best way

Former Masters champion Dustin Johnson (73) led a bunch at 2-under 142, whereas the bunch one other shot behind included two-time main champion Collin Morikawa and former PGA champion Justin Thomas, whose 67 matched Scheffler for low spherical of the day.

Jordan Spieth hit two into Rae’s Creek and took triple bogey on the par-3 twelfth. No less than this was on a Friday, although he wound up lacking the minimize when he made double bogey on the 18th. Adam Scott was attempting to remain within the combine till he had a wedge spin again into the water on the par-5 fifteenth, hit the following over the inexperienced and took triple bogey.

Scheffler had no such troubles, even when it did not really feel that approach.

“Undoubtedly felt like I used to be in a battle in the present day,” Scheffler mentioned.

Scheffler acquired his errors out of he approach early and commenced to grab management with two birdies proper earlier than making the flip. After a troublesome par save from proper of the eleventh inexperienced, he added two birdies from 12 ft on the par-3 twelfth and a troublesome pitch from properly proper on the par-5 thirteenth.

By then, the wind started to subside within the late afternoon and Scheffler started to drag away with two extra birdies that made him a transparent and tough goal on the weekend.

And to assume solely two months in the past he nonetheless did not have a PGA Tour victory.

Smith staying optimistic regardless of drop

Woods made it by one other hike alongside the undulating terrain of Augusta Nationwide, his limp extra noticeable from a proper leg held along with rods and screws from his automobile crash 14 months in the past.

“I do not really feel pretty much as good as I wish to really feel,” Woods mentioned with a smile. “That is OK. As I mentioned, I’ve acquired an opportunity going into the weekend. Hopefully, I will have a kind of mild bulb moments and switch it on within the weekend and get it accomplished.”

His putter wasn’t serving to any. All the important thing putts Woods made within the opening spherical weren’t falling Friday as he piled up 4 bogeys in his opening 5 holes, elevating questions if his inconceivable return to the Masters would solely final two days.

And now he has two extra.

Coming off consecutive bogeys initially of Amen Nook, he was headed for extra hassle on the par-5 thirteenth besides that he missed badly sufficient to remain on proper facet of the tributary of Rae’s Creek, organising a pitch-and-putt for birdie.

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“It was robust for everyone,” Woods mentioned, and earlier than lengthy got here a wry smile. “Clearly, there’s just a few individuals who aren’t struggling on the market.”

A kind of could be Scheffler, who has everybody’s consideration.

One other was Thomas, with whom Woods performed his apply rounds final week and within the days main as much as the Masters. He opened with a 76 and spent the remainder of the day sulking at what a misplaced alternative.

He capped off his 67 with three straight birdies alongside the again 9.

“I very simply may very well be going house proper now, and never solely am I not, however I am in a very great place going into this weekend,” Thomas mentioned.

He was seven behind, nonetheless, although he wasn’t in the least shocked Scheffler was capable of publish such good rounds to construct a giant lead.

“If I performed how I ought to yesterday, I needs to be proper there with him,” Thomas mentioned. “This place, I like it as a result of you can also make so many birdies — even in situations like this, when you plot your approach round and know how you can get it round, you can also make loads of birdies. It exposes you when it will get this windy if you do not have management of your ball.

“He clearly has management of every thing proper now based mostly off the final couple of months, so I am not too shocked,” he added. “However yeah, I might recognize it if he would cease going too far-off.”

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