Prowling Tiger produces roars at Augusta as leaderboard a logjam of stars

Prowling Tiger produces roars at Augusta as leaderboard a logjam of stars

Prowling Tiger produces roars at Augusta as leaderboard a logjam of stars

Woods is tied at 6-under for the tournament with Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Justin Harding, who is the only Masters newcomer in the group.

One hole earlier, a pinpoint chip to set up birdie had drawn with one shot.

But while a 43-year-old Woods was doing battle for a fifth green jacket at the top of a star-studded leaderboard, McIlroy was putting the finishing touches to a second consecutive 71 to finish one under par.

The 43-year-old made the turn at 3-under par and carded the hard 11th hole's first birdie of the day.

After hitting a fantastic approach shot from deep in the rough after a wild, hooking tee shot, Woods - and a packed viewing gallery - raced out to check on the ball's progress.

"It is what it is", Woods said.

"We have been dealing with mud balls pretty much all week, so I'm going to pray for clean golf balls in the fairway and we'll go at it from there", said Fowler, 7 under after a 68 on Saturday.

Webb Simpson, who moved into contention after shooting an 8-under 64 that leaves him at 9 under, is hoping for weather to make an impact.


Woods missed an eight-foot birdie putt to par 17 and missed a 14-footer for birdie at 18.

After an ordinary outward nine featuring three birdies offset by a pair of bogeys, Woods embarked on one of his trademark charges, carding three birdies after the turn to shoot up the leaderboard. Day was right behind, coping with nagging soreness in his lower back with a 67 to match the Italian. After a flawless opening round, Koepka had two bogeys and a double in his first six holes on Friday but the twice U.S. Open champion was able to regain his composure, steadying himself with six straight pars from the ninth.

It worked wonders as he appeared to be in considerably less pain while putting together a round that was almost flawless, although Day said his wife Ellie deserved just as much credit for his remarkable recovery.

As rain lashed Augusta, severe weather forced a 40-minute delay, after which Scott returned to fire a 231-yard second shot onto the green at the par-five hole.

"It's a bunched leader board ... if someone decides to break away on the weekend I'm in a good spot to run with them".

But he feels he's getting closer.

It was a brief scare for 14-time major victor Woods during the closing stages of his round, following another solid day on the big stage.

The 29-year-old American joins five others - Johnny Miller, Greg Norman, K.J. Choi, Gary Woodland and Mickelson - who have all carded 30 over the first nine.

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