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Tiger Watch: Day 2 at the Masters

Woods finishes with a 2-under 70 on the day and 6-under overall. He had three birdies Friday, all on par-5s: the second, 13th and 15th holes. He had one bogey, too, on the par-3 fourth. K.J. Choi, who played alongside Tiger with Matt Kuchar, also finishes at 6-under. He shot a 71 today.

Choi and Woods are two strokes off the leaders, Poulter and Westwood, who are tied at 8-under. Poulter is finished, Westwood is on the 11th hole.

Woods is playing remarkably well considering his absence, and built off his first-day performance — no eagles though, and some birdie chances missed.

"I thought I had a good shot in there at 14, but I had a 60-footer go up the hill," Woods said.

Woods said he's achieved his goal through two days, to put himself in contention. He felt he putted better today than he did yesterday.

18th Hole: 465 yards, par-4.

Tiger was 174 yards out going into his second shot, which reached the green but left him with a 50-foot putt after the wind knocked the ball dead on the green. A heartier reception for Woods at 18 then he had at the first tee this morning. He has a chance to finish with a birdie putt and a flourish on a day his approach and tee shots were mostly spot-on, but his putting did little to help him gain strokes.

The birdie putt was in line but a couple feet short. Another par.

17th Hole: 425 yards, par-4. Tiger's lips said it all: "Woooo." After a left-side drive, Tiger drops a lofty shot on the green about 10 feet away from the cup. That was a classic, daring Tiger shot setting up a birdie putt. But, here we go again, he can't get the birdie. He was wide left and went about three feet beyond the cup. Knocks it in for par, again.

Choi, Anthony Kim and Woods are tied at 6-under behind Poulter and Westwood.

16th Hole: 170 yards, par-3. A perfect drive for Tiger put him within six feet of the hole. This was a hole that Tiger was visibly disappointed about yesterday after narrowly missing a birdie putt, and he missed a chance to finish with a birdie again. The ball skirted to the right of the cup, and Tiger — well, his body language says it all. Another disappointing turn at 16.

Note about out leaders: Poulter's on the 17th, whereas Westwood just finished his front-nine. If Westwood can take advantage of some of those par-5s, he could gain considerable breathing room.

15th Hole: 530 yards, par-5. He started out tackling the 15th hole with confidence, his drive was dead-on. But Tiger's third shot was straight downhill and he was short on his pitch on to the green - it bounced right in front of a sprinkler head and the ball deadened on to the green, setting up a very difficult birdie attempt. Tiger took advantage of his last par-5, at the 13th hole, and birdied. But at the 8th today, where he eagled yesterday, he shot par.

Here, though, he capitalized on a quick green with about a 15-foot birdie putt. Drops him to 6-under, tied for third place behind Westwood and Poulter, our two English leaders at 9-under.

14th Hole: 440 yards, par-4. Tiger and caddie Steve Williams waited to review the breeze on his pitch, which had too much spin and skirted maybe 70 feet away on the green. He was within 10 yards of the cup and the ball just kept rolling. Remember, Tiger had a bogey here yesterday. Today, Tiger had to wait, though, to try to recover as course workers cleared up the green. His birdie putt ended up three feet short and he stays at 5-under par.

Choi and Woods stay neck-and-neck. Westwood is back in the lead at 9-under and Poulter now trailing at 8-under, separating themselves from the pack.

13th Hole: 510 yards, par-5. A raise of the club in the left hand and a smile — Tiger has a 25-foot birdie, dropping him to 5-under. It's his first birdie in 11 holes. This despite a pitch on 13 that was low and lacked enough spin to bring it back to the hole.

We have a flip-flop atop the leaderboard. With Poulter now in the lead at 8-under and Westwood in second at 7-under. Westwood bogeyed the fifth hole and Poulter birdied the 12th and 13th.

12th Hole: 153 yards, par-3. Wind can make this drive particularly difficult, very short but narrow with water on the right. He didn't pull his birdie putt from the right edge of the green enough and he settled for par. That's three pars in a row for Tiger, who is still at 4-under. Good, but not great has been the story of his day.

11th Hole: 505 yards, par-4. Another par on the longest par-4 of the course, but no temper flare-up for Tiger this time. Yesterday his birdie putt went long and he got lucky bounce off a tree on his drive, prompting him to throw his club down.

Tom Watson, by the way, again went bogey-birdie, on the third and fourth holes. Lee Westwood leads now at 8-under, ahead of Poulter's 7-under. Barnes and Couples are tied for third at 6-under. Westwood birdied the second and third holes. He's four holes into his round.

10th Hole: 495 yards, par-4. Woods with a strong drive to start a hole he bogeyed yesterday. He's on the righthand side but that helps his opening drive carry. He was smiling and very animated with his hands and arms as he walked down the slope to prepare for his second shot.

A fade on his second shot, in which he appeared to slip slightly on his back right foot in his follow-through, sets up a birdie attempt up the hill. His first putt is just off the edge of the cup setting up a second putt. He makes par and was very close to a birdie. A better start to today's back nine.

9th Hole: 460 yards, par-4. Another par to close out the front nine, Woods stayed even with a 36. He's at 4-under still, two off the leading trio.

There's a mild wind at Augusta as we enter the afternoon, making club selection that much harder.

8th Hole: 570 yards, par-5. The site of Tiger's first eagle yesterday played as a par today.  He had about about a 60-footer upwards and came within a foot before knocking it in.

A birdie for Ian Poulter puts him into a share of the lead, next to Barnes and Couples. Poulter's shedding his underrated label quickly.

Topsy turvy start to Tom Watson's day, a bogey on one and a birdie on two. He remains at 5-under.

7th Hole: 450 yards, par-4. Woods tee shot bangs off the tree, sets up his second shot from the first cut. Woods hits par, but not looking as though he's pleased with himself.

A bogey! For Fred Couples on the ninth? First time in 22 holes, since the fifth hole yesterday. Drops him into a tie for the lead with Barnes. That's the same Barnes who held leads after two rounds of the U.S. Open last year, then finished with a share of second. The drama builds.

6th Hole: 180 yards, par-3. Woods come close on a 60-foot birdie shot that leaves him less than a foot out of the hole. He two-putts for par.

And yes, Fred Couples is still doing it. Six straight pars now, through eight holes. He's our leader at 7-under, followed by Ricky Barnes at -6. Tiger is at -4.

5th Hole: 455 yards, par-4. Tiger rebounds with par on one of the harder par-4s at Augusta. He found the back bunker on his third shot, but a strong pitch set up a short putt.

At noon, the weather in Augusta appears to be fantastic following last night's rain. Woods has been relying on his sunglasses: could be for pollen, could be for sun, could be for both. But he does not look as strong as he did earlier today (his first tee shot into the gallery aside) and yesterday.

4th Hole: 240 yards, par-3. Tiger missed the green left, put him in a tricky position which he was able to chip out of, going over the bunker. That set up a par attempt from about nine yards out which he missed for his first bogey of the day. Tiger's been so strong on the par-5s, and today it's a short hole that gives him his first hiccup.

Ricky Barnes has consecutive birdies over the second and third holes — that moves him into second place, alone, at 6-under behind Couples.

ESPN showing shots of Phil Mickelson warming up. His tee time is 1:42 p.m., when Y.E. Yang tees off as well. Both enter at 5-under.

Ian Poulter (-5) staying stride-for-stride with Woods: he birdied the second and has a par on every other hole through four, and is actually now ahead of Tiger.

3rd Hole: 350 yards, par-4. Woods chose to drive the short fairway, bombing it on his tee shot to the left. Woods second shot put him on the green and, on a downhill putt, his long birdie attempt lipped out and he hit par. Woods look as competitive as ever — his facial expressions, mannerisms haven't changed despite his absence. These aren't outbursts, these are slighter physical reactions to the way he's playing.

K.J. Choi, playing with Tiger, has a birdie at the third hole after a bogey on the first hole of the day. Four consecutive pars now for Couples through six holes.

2nd Hole: 575 yards, par-5. Woods hits birdie to drop to 5-under. Woods' two eagles were a first for him on day one at the Masters, and he's off to another fast start today.

Fred Couples holding steady at 7-under with par on the third and fourth holes. He birdied the par-4 second earlier.

1st Hole: 445 yards, par-4. A poor start to the day for Tiger, pulling his tee shot left into the gallery — he had a grimace and wipe of his eyes as he watched. He salvaged the drive on his second shot that put him back on the fairway. His third-shot pitch set him up about two feet out of the hole for an easy par. He remains at 4-under, tied with six others including Ian Poulter and K.J. Choi.

Fred Couples already has a birdie, dropping to 7-under and is now two shots ahead of Mickelson and Y.E. Yang for the lead.

Tiger's reception was muted. Guess everybody's, uh, over it now? Right.


Tiger Woods tees off on day two at the Masters at 10:35 this morning in a three-way tie for eighth at 4-under. Phil Mickelson, at 5-under and just one off leader Fred Couples, gets going at 1:42 p.m.

Storylines for day two: We'll have to pay attention to Couples — who's 50 — and Tom Watson — who's 60. Both are previous champions at Augusta. Watson finished in a tie that included Mickelson at 5-under. Watson, if you recall, narrowly lost out at Turnberry to Stewart Cink last July.

And then there's Tiger on the rebound. Woods yesterday had three bogies, three birdies and two eagles for the best first round score of his Masters career.

You can follow the leaderboard all day long here. Of course, I'll be giving you updates of all the action, down to every hole for Tiger.


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