Another slice of history for Woods as he makes it 24 consecutive cuts made at Augusta National

Mark McGowan

Tiger Woods after closing out round two (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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If there’s one thing that we should’ve learned, it’s never to write Tiger Woods off. Five competitive rounds in 12 months – four of them in a hit-and-giggle in the Bahamas – weather conditions that are testing even the sharpest competitors to the pin of their collars, and a rain delay that meant he had to endure 23 holes on day two, the odds were stacked against him.

But he’s Tiger Woods. He’s been defying the odds his entire life, and by making the cut for the 24th consecutive time, he’s now the record holder in that regard, eclipsing the 23 he previously held alongside Fred Couples and Gary Player.

Much like yesterday’s 13 holes, it wasn’t quite vintage Tiger, and the cold temperatures and the already stiffish breeze in the morning made it no surprise that he struggled through the final five holes of round one, bogeying 14 and 18 to close out at +1.

There was time for very little before he was back out again for round two, and it was sure to be a grind with the winds steadily increasing throughout the day. He’d par just three of the opening nine holes, mixing birdies at three, six and eight with bogeys at four, five and seven, the highlight coming at the par-3 sixth when he chipped in from just left of the green.

His short game prowess was once again to the fore in round two, and he currently leads the field in Strokes-Gained-Around-The-Green, getting up-and-down for birdie on eight, and then for pars at nine, 11, 12, 17 and 18 – with a solitary birdie on the second nine coming courtesy of a two-putt on 15 following a fantastic fairway wood into the heart of the green.

By the time he’d reached the last, making the cut was all but guaranteed, but he put the finishing touches on the round with a superb flop over the bunker and rolled in the six-footer for par.

But typical of Woods, the cut-record wasn’t what he was focusing on when he talked to the press afterwards.

“It means I have a chance going into the weekend,” was his response to the inevitable record question. “I’m here. I have a chance to win the golf tournament. I don’t know if they’re all going to finish today, but I’m done. I got my two rounds in. Just need some food and some caffeine, and I’ll be good to go.

“I’m right there. I’m only eight back as of right now. I don’t think anyone is going to run off and hide right now, but it’s really bunched. The way the ball is moving on the greens, chip shots are being blown, it’s all you want in a golf course today.

“I’m tired. I’ve been out for a while, competing, grinding. It’s been a long 23 holes, a long day. But Lance [Bennett, Woods’ caddie] and I really did some good fighting today, and we’ve got a chance.”

He did save a comment for the record, however, but it was more focused on his intent to poke a little fun at good friend Couples who is now joint-second in the consecutive Masters cuts-made bracket.

“Yeah, I think I will be able to as soon as I’m done with you guys text Freddy and give him a little needle,” he said with a grin.

He’s a long way back, but if you don’t make the cut, you can’t win the tournament. He’s seen enough Masters to know that anything is possible.

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