Tiger Woods begins the weekend at the Masters still in contention for another green jacket

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods is back at Augusta National on Saturday, playing another picturesque weekend at the Masters, just as the five-time champion always has when he’s been healthy enough to do it as a professional.

After making the cut for a record 24th consecutive time, Woods began the third round 1-over par and still in the hunt for a record-tying sixth green jacket. He had plenty of ground to make up, seven shots adrift of overnight leaders Max Homa, Scottie Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau, and with 21 players separating him from the top of the leaderboard.

Yet provided his balky back and fused ankle hold up, there is reason to believe the 48-year-old Woods can, too.

He had to play 23 holes on Friday after darkness brought an early end to his opening round. Yet he not only persevered through a marathon day, Woods shot a second-round 72 amid such blustery conditions that the average score was 75.09, the highest for the second round of the Masters since 2007, when it was not only windy but also cold.

Woods has driven the ball well, hitting 22 of 28 fairways, and he’s offset some poor approach shots — just 17 of 36 greens in regulation — with an excellent short game. Woods began the day in the top 10 in putting this week.

“A lot of those chip shots I was able to get up-and-down because I left it in the perfect spot, and that’s understanding how to play this golf course,” Woods said. “Most of the up-and-downs I was in a perfect spot.”

Indeed, Woods knows his way around Augusta National. He will be playing his 100th round at the Masters on Sunday.

He set off Saturday trying to make sure he would be in contention.

“I’ve been able to play here since I was 19-years old,” he said. “It’s one of the honors I don’t take lightly, being able to compete. The years I have missed, I wish I was able to play because there’s such an aura and mystique about playing this golf course that I don’t think that — unless you have played and competed here, you probably don’t really appreciate.”


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