Tiger Begins Long Walk For Masters History As Play Resumes

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Augusta, United States: Tiger Woods began a 23-hole walk aimed at making Masters history while three early contenders chased leader Bryson DeChambeau as the first round of the 88th Masters resumed Friday.

There were 27 players from the field of 89 still on the course when darkness fell Thursday at Augusta National after the opening round was delayed by two and one-half hours due to rain.

Woods, the 48-year-old legend whose 15 major titles include five Masters green jackets, was one-under par after 13 holes of his first round when play was halted, leaving him to finish five in round one and play a full 18 holes in round two.

He suffered severe leg injuries in a 2021 car crash and has struggled to walk 18 holes since then even after several operations, including a right ankle fusion last April after plantar fasciitis forced him to withdraw from the Masters in the third round after making the cut.

"I ache every day," Woods said on Tuesday.

Woods has made 23 consecutive Masters cuts to share the record with Gary Player and Fred Couples, but he would grab the mark all to himself if he stands in the low 50 and ties after 36 holes.

Tiger Woods of the United States reacts on the 18th green during the continuation of the first round of the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2024 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Warren Little / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

This will be his toughest test of major holes in a day since Woods returned from the accident at the 2022 Masters.

Woods, whose most recent major victory came at the 2019 Masters, arrived at the course before dawn and worked out at the practice facility in cool conditions.

DeChambeau, who fired a seven-under par 65 on Thursday to grab a one-stroke lead over world number one Scottie Scheffler, was set to begin his second round just before noon (1600 GMT).

The 2020 US Open winner birdied five of the last seven holes in his best round ever at Augusta National to set the pace while Scheffler, the 2022 Masters champion, birdied four of the final seven to stay on Dechambeau's heels.

Scheffler, who could join Woods as the only players to win the Masters twice while atop the rankings, tees off in the afternoon's penultimate group alongside four-time major winner Rory McIlroy and Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele.

McIlroy, whose most recent major win came in 2014, needs a Masters triumph to complete a career grand slam, a feat achieved only by Woods, Player, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen.

McIlroy fired a 71, his best opening round at the Masters since 2018, while Schauffele, chasing his first major crown, began on 72.

The resumption offered a chance to charge for the lead to three players who were in the top eight when sunset sent them off the course.

Denmark's Nicolai Hojgaard, among 20 players making their first Masters start, was two off the pace at 5-under through 15 holes with seven birdies against two bogeys, including a birdie sweep through "Amen Corner," the tricky 11th, 12th and 13th holes at Augusta National.

Another stroke adrift at 4-under after 13 holes was American Max Homa, who was level for fourth with England's Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters winner who completed a 68 on Thursday.

Also pushing to move up on the leaderboard was England's Tyrrell Hatton, who like DeChambeau and defending champion Jon Rahm was among 13 players from Saudi-backed LIV Golf in the Masters field.

Hatton was 3-under through 14 holes.


The Peninsula

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