Tiger Tracker: Friday
The eyes of the world are on Tiger Woods as he returns to golf
on the game’s biggest stage — the Masters. Follow his round
hole-by-hole with FOXSports.com’s Tiger Tracker.
Masters leaderboard, click here.
Summary: All in all, it was a good day for Tiger.
Until his 20-footer for birdie on No. 13, Woods had not hit a putt
of any significant length all week. With two medium-length birdies
on 13 and 15, however, Tiger put up a solid, consistent 70 to keep
himself right in contention. If he can get hot with the putter over
the weekend, he could be slipping on his fifth green jacket.
Hole No. 18: Par 4, 465 yards: Tiger does not want
to give a shot back on the last hole. A good drive will be key to
ensuring that. He stripes it. That will play very well and give him
a chance to possibly attack this green.
The pin is in the back on No. 18 today, so golfers will need
to be careful not to get too aggressive and miss long.
Tiger has made the opposite mistake. He’s on the front edge
of the green, a good 60 or 70 feet away. He came up a full club
short. The wind must have gotten ahold of that one. Tiger has a
tough two-putt ahead of him.
A standing ovation from many of the patrons as Tiger
approaches the 18th green. He acknowledges the applause with a tip
of his cap. The patrons have certainly been gracious, if not
Tiger’s birdie putt is another nice lag. Right on line, the
putt comes up about two feet short. Tiger will mark it there. A par
would give him 70. And that’s what he has.
Hole No. 17: Par 4, 440 yards: Tiger’s tee shot is
headed way left. He yells “Fore!” The ball seems to hit someone in
the gallery and kick back a bit closer to the fairway, but still
well into the rough. He’s near a tree, but it’s unclear how much
the tree will impede his next shot. He’ll have to get creative on
his next shot.
Tiger decides to go over the several trees that are maybe 50
or so yards in front of him, a truly spectacular shot to even try.
And it’s fantastic! He’ll have a legitimate birdie chance. He’s
about 10 feet away from the pin, hole high.
Tiger is unable to capitalize. His putt slides by on the
left. It doesn’t even really burn the edge. That would have been a
spectacular birdie. Given where he was after the drive, however,
he’ll likely be fine with par.
Hole No. 16: Par 3, 170 yards: This is probably the
most difficult pin placement on this hole. It’s cut in the front
right, just over the bunker, on a green that slopes heavily right
to left towards the water. If you miss to the right, it’s a
Or you could do what Tiger just did. He takes it in over top
of the flag stick and stops it right in its tracks. He’ll have
maybe 6 feet for birdie.
This is going to be a very quick putt. He hits it ever so
lightly, and it doesn’t break the way he thinks it will. It stays
up on the high side of the hole. He taps in for par.
Hole No. 15: Par 5, 530 yards: A definite birdie
opportunity, and a possible eagle opportunity here, depending on
Tiger has hit the fairway with his tee shot. It didn’t appear
to go as far as his drive on Thursday, when he had only 191 yards
into the hole and made eagle, but Woods should still be close
enough to go at the green in two.
Tiger’s second shot goes just over the back of the green. The
pin is cut on the left part of the surface, while Tiger’s shot went
over the center part of the wide, but shallow green. He’ll have a
delicate downhill chip from there, but there is plenty of green to
Tiger’s chip gets hung up in the fringe on the first couple
hops and slows down to much. It kicks right a bit and trickles down
onto the green. He’ll have about 15 feet for birdie, but it will be
a downhill, left-to-right curler. Not an easy task.
Tiger’s putt is on the way, it’s curling in, it’s tracking
… it’s in! Both of his birdies on the par 5s on the back nine
have come via longer putts than you would normally expect. He’s 2
under on the round today, 6 under overall.
Hole No. 14: Par 4, 440 yards: The 14th is playing
as the most difficult hole in Friday’s second round. Tiger bogeyed
it in his first round.
The tee shot center cut. Almost as soon as he hits it, Tiger
bends down to get the tee, looking up only in time to see the ball
land in the fairway. Hitting the fairway, of course, does not
guarantee anything on No. 14. Tiger hit a great drive on Thursday
only to pull his second shot and make bogey.
Tiger catches a terrible break on his second shot. The
ball lands about 10 feet short and a bit left of the flag and spins
just a touch. It looks like it will stop about 15 feet short and
right, giving him a makeable uphill putt. But the ball catches the
ridge and just doesn’t stop. It rolls all the way down to the
bottom ridge on the right part of the green. He could have 90 or
100 feet for birdie on a shot that was otherwise nearly perfect.
Tiger hits a great lag putt, given how far away he was right
there. He leaves himself maybe four feet for par. And he hits it.
It may seem simple, but that short putt was crucial for Tiger to
keep the round’s momentum going. With the par 5 15th coming up, he
should have another birdie opportunity.
Hole No. 13: Par 5, 510 yards: The 13th is always a
good scoring opportunity, particularly for longer players like
Woods. He two-putted for birdie on Thursday.
Tiger’s drive, which looks like he hit with a 3-wood, is a
low stinger down the middle. It lands soft and doesn’t roll much.
He should be able to go at the green in two, but it doesn’t look
like his shot got as far around the curve as he would hope.
In a bit of a stunner, Tiger elects to lay up. With the pin
tucked left, he apparently did not have the angle to be able to
comfortably go at the green around the curve. That’s quite a
surprise, given the relatively short length of this par 5. He will
have to get up and down from inside of 100 yards to make birdie.
Tiger’s shot is very underwhelming. He takes it in low
looking for it skip once and stop. The ball obeys, but Tiger leaves
it at least 20 feet short. It’s not an impossible putt, but he had
to be looking to get closer than that.
And there is the first putt he’s hit! With a little
right-to-left break, Tiger had that ball tracking all the way. He
lifted his putter in the air in front of him just before the ball
dropped. That should give him some confidence.
Hole No. 12: Par 3, 155 yards: The hole known as
“Golden Bell” is a gorgeous sight to see today. The weather is
perfect, the wind is still. This is what makes Augusta so special.
Tiger’s shot is good, not great. It lands below the hole, on
the front edge and stays there. He’ll have about 20 feet from
there, but the putt should be relatively straight and up the hill.
Tiger will be able to get aggressive with this one.
Tiger’s putt is right all the way and never has a chance.
Speed is good again. He taps in for par. Next hole should be a
great birdie opportunity.
Hole No. 11: Par 4, 505 yards: Amen corner begins
with the longest par 4 on the course. Tiger needed a lucky bounce
on Thursday to stay out of the trees on the right. So far this
week, No. 11 has been the toughest hole on the course, averaging
No lucky bounce needed today for Tiger. Woods absolutely
stripes the drive and is in perfect position.
The pin is in the front part of the green. Anything left will
be wet, with the pond waiting to snatch up errant shots. Playing
partner Matt Kuchar, who seemed particularly wary of the water,
missed so far right that his ball hit patrons several rows deep in
the gallery. The patrons themselves are already 30 yards right of
Tiger’s shot is safe as well. He left the ball out to the
right, hoping for a kick left and onto the green. Instead, the ball
landed softly and barely moved. He’ll have a relatively
straightforward chip for his third shot, but this isn’t a realistic
birdie opportunity now.
Tiger’s birdie effort is decent, but doesn’t really threaten
the hole. It rolls about 3-4 feet past the cup. He’ll mark it
there. Sinks the putt.
Hole No. 10: Par 4, 495 yards: Tiger started the
back nine with a bogey on Thursday. His approach to the green came
up short and he hit a very mundane chip before missing a slick
downhill par putt. He’ll be eager to start off the back side better
Tiger takes a 3-wood off the tee and hits a beauty. The ball
carries to the top of the ridge and takes the slope all the way
down. He’s on the right edge of the fairway. Very good position.
The pin is tucked on the right side of the green, so it’s a
tough angle of approach for Woods. As he hits his second shot,
Tiger appears to slip a bit. His right foot comes out from under
him and he pulls the iron shot. It’s not a bad miss, the ball lands
hole high in the middle of the green. But clearly he was trying to
get closer to the pin than that.
Tiger’s birdie effort is a good one, but just runs over the
edge on the low side of the hole. Still hasn’t hit a long putt this
week. But par on 10 is a good score.
Hole No. 9: Par 4, 460 yards: Tiger hit one of the
greatest shots of his first round on No. 9 on Thursday. After a bad
drive, he hooked the ball about 30 yards around some trees, getting
it within 10 feet of the hole.
Today, Tiger has another opportunity for birdie. The pin is
on the left side, and bit back on this long, narrow green. After
two shots, he’s in the middle of the putting surface, with probably
20-25 feet up the hill for birdie. Tiger hasn’t made a putt of any
considerable length yet this week. He needs to get the flatstick
Tiger’s putt has perfect speed, but the line is just a bit
off. He’ll tap in for par. All things considered, a 36 on the front
nine isn’t bad. But you know Tiger feels that he left a few shots
Hole No. 8: Par 5, 570 yards: Tiger eagled this
hole on Thursday, and while he hasn’t moved backwards today, you
know he would like to get something going here.
Woods’ drive is pulverized. It starts down the left side and
cuts back just a bit. Center of the fairway. Perfect.
Tiger doesn’t have the eagle magic today. It takes him two
shots to get his ball on the front part of the green. With the flag
in the back, he will have at least 60 feet for birdie.
Tiger’s putt is very well judged. Speed is excellent, line is
good. The ball goes about 2 feet past the hole and should be an
easy par from there. It is. Still even today.
Hole No. 7: Par 4, 450 yards: The scene of Tiger’s
first bogey in his first round, No. 7 has been significantly
revamped in recent years. The hole was lengthened, some trees were
trimmed slightly on the left side and tee shot now plays like it’s
in a chute through the Georgia pines. Most of these changes were
made about 4-5 years ago.
Tiger’s drive is down the right side and kicks into the
rough. He’ll have an awkward second shot as he tries to avoid
bogeys here in back-to-back rounds.
Woods recovers well and gets down in 4. Onto the par 5 8th.
Hole No. 6: Par 3, 180 yards: With the pin in the
back left portion of the green, the slope of the putting surface
should funnel shots towards the hole if they land on the proper
While he hasn’t been particularly sharp today, this is an
unlucky break for Tiger. His shot to the green barely misses the
ridge that would have sent the ball towards the cup. Instead, it
rolls back towards the front of the green. He will have a very long
birdie putt from there. He’ll be happy to two-putt.
And two-putt he does. He long effort cozies right up to the
hole for an easy tap-in. Tiger remains even on the day.
Hole No. 5: Par 4, 455 yards: This may be one of
the greatest Masters memories that no one has ever heard of. In the
1995 Masters, Jack Nicklaus eagled No. 5 twice. What’s so special
about that? It’s a par 4! Nicklaus holed out from the fairway from
180 yards out with a 5-iron in the first round and from 163 yards
out with a 7-iron in the third round.
Tiger’s drive on No. 5 is on the left edge of the green,
behind the two fairway bunkers. But he approach isn’t great and
goes into the back greenside bunker.
The blast out of the bunker is excellent. He rolls it to
about 5 feet and calmly knocks in the par putt. A good par
considering the two below-average shots he hit.
Hole No. 4: Par 3, 240 yards: One of the toughest
holes at Augusta, No. 4 is not one that Tiger typically plays well.
He went over the green in his first round, though he did manage to
get up-and-down for par.
Tiger pulls a long iron way left. His hand comes off the club
during his follow through, a classic Tiger reaction to a poor shot.
He’s left of the left greenside bunker. This will be a challenging
Tiger’s pitch is deft. The touch is soft and the ball rolls
to within 8 or 10 feet of the cup. He’ll have a chance to save par.
The par attempt slides by on the low side of the hole. Woods
will give back the shot he picked up on the 2nd.
Hole No. 3: Par 4, 350 yards: The site of Tiger’s
first birdie in Round 1, he takes to the 3rd hole with some
momentum off the birdie today on No. 2. Fun Masters memory from No.
3: Jeff Maggert was leading in the final round in 2003 when he
found a fairway bunker to the left. His shot ricocheted off the
face of the bunker and struck him in the chest for a two-stroke
penalty. He took triple bogey on the hole and never recovered. Your
champion that year? Mike Weir.
Back to this year. Tiger pulls another drive left, but this
one won’t hurt him too bad. He should still have an opening to this
short par 4.
Woods plays a shot to the front part of the green. It’s a
good shot, but not great. He’ll have maybe 20 feet for birdie, up
the hill, with right-to-left break.
His putt loses steam right at the last minute and barely
misses the hole. He’ll settle for par.
Hole No. 2: Par 5, 575 yards: In his first round,
Tiger failed to get up and down from off the green after going for
this par 5 in two. Historically, Woods has dominated the par 5s at
Augusta. Notable about No. 2: In 1983, Seve Ballesteros was one
shot behind hedaing into the final round when he opened
birdie-eagle-par-birdie. He went on to win that even by four shots
for his second green jacket.
Tiger goes for the green in two, as we would expect. He’s
long on his second shot.
A slick, downhill chip slides a few feet past the hole,
leaving himself a tricky little 3- or 4-footer for birdie. The putt
will break left to right.
Tiger hits the short birdie putt and moves to 5 under on the
round. There is currently a seven-way tie for second place, all of
them two shots behind the leader Couples, who is 1 under on the day
(7 under total) through 5 holes.
Hole No. 1: Par 4, 445 yards: The reception for
Woods is gracious, but seemingly more tepid on Day 2 than on Day 1.
No boos. But the applause is muted.
Tiger does not start his round nearly as well as on Thursday.
He pulls his tee shot way left into the pine straw. It will be a
difficult par from there.
Woods is already in scramble mode and manages to get down in
four from there. An opening par should give him some confidence
heading into the Par 5 second hole. Meanwhile, playing partner K.J.
Choi was not as fortunate. Choi, who was in a tie for 2nd after the
first round, bogeyed the opener to drop into a tie with Woods.
Couples birdies: Fred Couples has pushed his lead
to two shots with a birdie on the par 5 2nd. Tiger will tee
Where we stand at 10:00 a.m. ET: Nick Watney, who
shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday, is 1 under on his second round
through 5 holes. That puts him in a seven-way tie for second place,
still one shot behind leader Fred Couples. Couples just completed
his first hole, parring the opener.
Tiger on the range: Wearing a sweater in the early
morning Georgia air, Tiger Woods is warming up on the range for his
10:35 a.m. ET tee time.
As far as the range goes, players have been raving about the
new facility. Augusta National’s new practice area is an 18-acre
meticulously manicured expanse that looks like it was surgically
removed from the course itself. There are dual 400-yard-long
fairways with strategically positioned trees, the familiar white
bunkers and even realistic greens that allow players to practice
every shot needed to conquer Bobby Jones’ masterpiece. There’s even
a new short-game area with one green for putting and two more for
chipping so players can hone their game.
Sandy Lyle tanking: The 1988 Masters champion gave
Augusta patrons a thrill on Thursday with an opening 69. The magic
has not carried over to Friday. Lyle is already 9 over through 7
holes in his second, putting him at 6 over for the tournament. It
was fun while it lasted…
For Thursday’s Tiger Tracker, click