Tiger Woods struggles on front nine; Scottie Scheffler holds sizeable lead

The third round of the Masters gets underway Saturday at Augusta National, and the week’s best story continues as Tiger Woods made the cut 14 months after a horrific car accident.

After an up-and-down second round in which he bogeyed on four of the first five holes and six overall, the five-time Masters champion also hit four birdies to finish 1-over par through 36 holes.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is running away with the tournament, shooting 8-under par to lead 2021 champion Hideki Matsuyama, 2011 champion Charl Schwartzel, Shane Lowry and Sungjae Im by five shots.

Five players have led by five strokes after 36 holes at the Masters and all but one, Harry Cooper in 1936, went on to win.

Tiger Woods walks to the practice facility during the third round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

Woods and Kevin Kisner will tee off at 1 p.m. ET, while Scheffler and Schwartzel will tee off at 2:50.

In the lead

Scottie Scheffler is on the course.

Scheffler has three wins in his last five starts, reaching No. 1 in the world, and has what seems like a formidable lead at the Masters. With little movement on Moving Day, Scheffler won’t need to do anything spectacular. But he will need to be steady, which was what he was on the first hole, picking up a par.

Hanging in there

Tiger Woods keeps giving himself chances.

The five-time Masters champion’s second shot on the par-5 No. 8 came up short, and his third left him with a long putt for birdie. He got close, rolling it about 18 inches past the hole. He is 2 over for the day.

Climbing the leaderboard

There’s finally some movement on Moving Day.

Justin Thomas birdied the second and third holes to get to 3-under. Danny Willett, Will Zalatoris and Corey Connors are a stroke back after early birdies. But everyone has a lot of ground to make up, with Scottie Scheffler sitting on a five-stroke lead before he tees off for the third round.

Good flop

Tiger Woods’ short game remains in great shape.

After leaving his second shot on the par-4 No. 7 well short of the green, Woods played a gorgeous flop shot that landed within 3 feet of the pin. He knocked it in for another par.

The five-time Masters champion is playing in his first significant tournament since shattering his right leg in a February 2021 car wreck. He seemed to be laboring more than he did the previous two days, his limp pronounced as he walked up to the seventh green after hitting the flop shot.

Woods is at 2 over for the day.

So close

Tiger Woods came close to holing out from another bunker, this time on the par-3 No. 6.

Woods’ shot from the sand left him a foot from the hole, and he made it easily to save par.


Tiger Woods is going to want that one stroke back.

Woods casually struck the ball on what looked like a gimme putt for a three-putt bogey on the par-5 No. 5. But the ball banged off the back of the cup, and he wound up with his first double-bogey of the week.

It was only the second time he’s four-putted at the Masters, the other coming on the 13th hole in the first round in 2005 — though that reflected a ball that rolled into Rae’s Creek. Woods had not three-putted in his first two rounds, but now has a three- and a four-putt before even making the turn.

He three-putted for a bogey on No. 1.

Holding steady

A textbook-perfect chip shot allowed Tiger Woods to save par on the par-3 No. 4.

Woods had studied the wind for several seconds before using a 5-wood off the tee. The shot went left, landing behind the greenside bunker. But Woods chipped to within 3 feet and made the easy putt to stay even for the day.

Woods needs to start making birdies if he hopes to catch Scottie Scheffler. Or any of the other golfers in front of him. But there has been little movement on “Moving Day,” with few players able to make up much ground in the cool conditions.

Two-putt par

The end of the hole was better than the beginning.

After his tee shot on No. 3 sailed left, landing several rows deep into the gallery, Tiger Woods two-putted from the bottom of the green to make par. He is even for the day.

Back to even

Timing is everything.

Tiger Woods will need to take advantage of the par-5s at Augusta National if he wants to get back into contention at the Masters. He is off to a good start Saturday, getting his first birdie of the week at No. 2.

Woods nearly holed out from the greenside bunker, but the ball wouldn’t drop as it rolled along the edge of the cup. Instead of an eagle, he had an easy birdie putt that got him back to even for the day.

Before that birdie Saturday, Woods had played the par-5s at 2-under for the week. The five-time Masters champion knows the importance of taking advantage of the par-5s better than anyone. In his previous 23 appearances at Augusta National, he has more eagles (12) and birdies (180) on the par-5s than he has pars (142).

Rough start

Tiger Woods’ struggles on No. 1 continue.

Woods began his third round with a three-putt bogey, his 10-foot putt to save par skirting the left edge of the cup. It’s his second bogey of the week on No. 1, a hole that has a long history of being tricky for him. In 93 rounds at Augusta National, the five-time Masters champion has birdied the par-4 just eight times while making 24 bogeys.

Woods began the day at 1 over, nine strokes behind leader Scottie Scheffler but just four behind the group that is tied for second.

Staying warm

Ice therapy is a critical part of Tiger Woods’ post-round recovery. It’s a different story before he plays.

Immediately after arriving at Augusta National’s practice area Saturday, Woods reached into his bag and pulled out a pair of rain pants. With a chill in the air and more rain in the forecast, the five-time Masters champion was taking no chances of his rebuilt right leg getting cold and stiff before he began the third round.

Woods tees off at 1 p.m. Saturday. He’s at 1 over through the first two rounds, nine strokes behind leader Scottie Scheffler but just four behind the group that is tied for second.

The Masters is Woods’ first significant tournament since he shattered his right leg in a February 2021 car wreck. The damage to his leg was so great Woods said he initially feared amputation, and it was months before he was able to walk again.

He has done an immense amount of physical therapy, and has said he has to follow his rounds with “lots of ice.” It helps reduce the swelling and fatigue in his right leg that comes from walking more than 4 miles on the rolling Augusta National course.

Masters payout

The winner of the 2022 Masters tournament will take home $2.7 million, with the total prize money being $15 million. Last year’s winner Hideki Matsuyama won $2.07 million out of a total purse of $11.5 million.

Second place will make $1.62 million and third place secures $1.02 million. The golfer that comes in last, or 50th place, will make $37,800. The remainder of the golfers will receive cash prizes ranging downward from $36,900 depending on the scores.

– Scooby Axson

Third round gets underway

The weekend is here and the third round is underway at the 86th Masters. Mackenzie Hughes and Adam Scott, who begin the day at 4-over par have teed off.

Of course, everyone is looking up at Scottie Scheffler, who scorched the course during Friday’s round and shot a 67. He is at 8-under, five shots ahead of defending champion Hideki Matsuyama, Shane Lowry, Charl Schwartzel and first round leader Sungjae Im.

Tiger Woods fights way into weekend at the Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods was on his way to falling apart Friday at the Masters when something strange happened. He didn’t.

Struggling on a windy, chilly day that grew grayer by the hour, his face frozen in a pained grimace much of the day, the 46-year-old Woods somehow managed to claw his way through a challenging second round to easily make the cut in his first competitive tournament since the November 2020 Masters.

That is a sentence worth repeating: Tiger Woods made the cut at the Masters less than 14 months after crashing his SUV, shattering his right leg and fearing that he might lose the leg or never walk again.

It wasn’t easy; he started horribly by bogeying four of the first five holes Friday, his worst start in 92 rounds at the Masters going back to his amateur days in 1995. But he said later he was proud of how he fought back, making four birdies in a seven-hole stretch to finish with a 2 over round of 74 for a 36-hole total of 1 over par.

– Christine Brennan

Big names miss the cut

Some of the big names who won’t be playing during the weekend:

Jordan Spieth: Just as he did in 2016, Spieth dumped two balls into Rae’s Creek on the 12th hole. His final-hole double bogey sent him packing with a 76.

Brooks Koepka: The four-time major champion, who had 12 top 10s in his last 16 starts in a major, made just one birdie in each of his two rounds and went home after two scores of 75.

Bryson DeChambeau: The 2020 U.S. Open winner has now played just 13 rounds this year as he’s battled hand, wrist and hip injuries. After opening with a 76, he made just one birdie in the second round and signed for his first-ever 80 on the PGA Tour.

Xander Schauffele: The Olympic gold medalist made just one birdie in 36 holes.

Steve DiMeglio, Golfweek

Tiger’s presence leads to big ratings

ESPN reported a 21% increase over 2021’s opening-day viewership and the largest television audience of the first round since 2018.

ESPN said its nearly five-hour Thursday telecast peaked at 3.6 million viewers between 4:15 and 4:29 p.m. ET as Woods played the final hole of his first competitive round since a car crash in 2021 left him with severe leg injuries.

Last year’s average viewership of the first round was 2.3 million.

Jason Lusk, Golfweek

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Masters live updates: Scottie Scheffler starts Saturday with big lead