Tiger Woods shook off a short weather delay and a close encounter with
Woods, who is wearing the same mock turtle shirt he donned during his last Masters win back in 2005, has quietly clawed his way up the star-studded leaderboard.
“I feel like I played my own way back into the tournament,” the 43-year-old said. “I was just very patient today, felt very good to be out there doing what I was doing.
“This is now three straight majors that I’ve been in the mix and so it’s good stuff.”
Despite the leading group’s undeniable credentials, it was Woods’s surge toward the top that stole the spotlight.
The massive gallery that stuck with him through the afternoon rain held its breath as he stood over a 14-foot birdie attempt at 18 that would have put him among the leaders, but it dribbled away at the hole and he settled for a par.
“Yeah, I missed a few putts out there but I’m not too bummed out about it because I hit them on my lines,” Woods said. “So I can live with that. I can live with days when I’m hitting putts on my line and they just don’t go in — that’s the way it goes.
“The only two bad putts I hit today were all on the same hole, over on eight, I three-putted. I had a bad first putt and a bad second putt. But other than that my speed was great and I hit a lot of putts that looked like they were going in.”
And he had a few long-range bombs to compensate – including a 37-footer for birdie at the ninth, another from 28 feet at 14 and a 30-footer at 15.
“They were nice to make and if I keep hitting the putts on my line they will start dropping,” he said.
But the strangest incident came later in the day when a security guard tripped and fell while hurrying to keep the crowds behind Woods. The guard slipped and fell, lost his footing and slid into Woods’s right leg.
Woods took a few frightening, stumbling steps but later pronounced himself just fine.
“I’ve had galleries run over me,” he said. “When you play in front of a lot of people, things happen.”