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McIlroy in great shape as Masters second round begins

07 Avril 2018

Tiger Woods gave galleries at Augusta National something to cheer for on Thursday in his first round at the Masters in three years.

The crowd groaned after the first three short shots went in the water. This was the sixth time he's shot in the 60s. He opened with a 65 in 2011 but threw away a comfortable lead that year with a final-round 80.

Spieth birdied five consecutive holes on the back nine in round one but his opening drive on day two went deep into the trees on the right and he could not find the fairway with his second as he started with a six.

Augusta also announced the event is expected to be televised and tickets for the final round will be made available to fans through a random selection process. "Jordan had a pretty strong finish there".

A year ago, in the cold and blustery conditions of the first round, San Diegan Charley Hoffman shot a stunning 65 that was four strokes better than anybody else. It's nice that I came out to play and know that I had the golf course in front of me. "If you get off to a good start, you're in control of your own fate, versus needing a little bit of help".

"It's not always the birdies that stick out in your mind", McIlroy said, calling those shots the highlights of his round.

He really struggled through Amen Corner, the famed three-hole stretch at the far edge of the club.

"I feel like the game's in good form. So, yeah, they were huge".

"I should a have chance to win this week but if I don't it's coming soon", Spieth said Tuesday.

But in the end, this tournament isn't only about winning and losing for Tiger, the ultimate win-or-else golfer. He plays well around here. Spieth has shot 66 or better four times in his 17 Masters rounds and is a combined 32 under par. Low round at a major championship is 62 (Branden Grace/R3/The Open Championship 2017).

The double-bogey left him at +4 overall and 10 back, right on the cutline. Spieth was among 10 players who broke 70 - a list that included Rory McIlroy - on a warm, sunny day with a moderate breeze that looked ideal for scoring.

McIlroy in great shape as Masters second round begins
McIlroy in great shape as Masters second round begins

Feeling pretty comfortable in his first major start since the 2015 PGA, Woods got off to a decent start that had him 1-under after a birdie on No. 3.

A standing ovation ensued, though Garcia hardly seemed to notice. "There's a lot of holes to be played".

TOUGH TONY: Tony Finau may not win the green jacket, but there's no doubt he deserves some sort of award for being the toughest guy on the course.

Finau was running backwards in an enthusiastic celebration of a hole-in-one on the seventh, when his left ankle buckled underneath him.

Through 18 holes it is living up to the hype. Field size: 87. Defending champion: Sergio Garcia.

Saturday will be the worst weather day for the 2018 Masters. Things looked bleak on the Augusta National hole known as White Dogwood, until suddenly they didn't.

"You saw it", Garcia said. "Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it didn't want to". Mickelson outlasted Ernie Els by sinking a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th green.

And all that's without mentioning world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who missed past year following a freak injury from slipping down stairs at his rental home on the eve of the event. So, too, are Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, both of whom signed for 70s. Woods didn't hit it great and didn't make any putts and didn't do any damage on the long holes he has long dominated at the Masters and still managed a 73.

"I have never seen it like that here, ever", he told the Golf Channel.

"Today I felt the Sunday-type pressure of leading the Masters on the middle of that back nine, and adjusted extremely well", Spieth said.

McIlroy in great shape as Masters second round begins