Woods drops back as Scheffler leads Masters


Tiger Woods was unable to match the standard he set on his comeback as world number one Scottie Scheffler dealt with tricky conditions to take a commanding halfway lead at the Masters.

Woods, 46, is one over par after carding a 74, following an opening-round 71 in his first competitive round since a car crash 14 months ago.

Fellow American Scheffler, 25, shot 67 to lead on eight under at Augusta.

Scheffler, bidding for his first major win, holds a five-shot lead at the top.

The US Ryder Cup star has tied the tournament record for the largest 36-hole lead. With no player blowing such an advantage since 1945, he looks primed to continue his dominant form in 2022.

Afterwards Woods said he had been in a “grind”, but was happy with his performance in the testing wind at Augusta National.

“It was a good fight, I’m in the ball game and tomorrow is a big day,” he said.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry carded a wonderful 68 – only bettered on Friday by Scheffler and Justin Thomas – to sit in a four-way share of second place.

Lowry, 35, almost took the position outright but saw a short birdie putt on the 18th dribble past the hole.

“It was one of the best rounds I’ve ever played, the conditions were difficult,” said the 2019 Open champion.

Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, South Africa’s 2011 winner Charl Schwartzel and overnight leader Im Sung-jae are sat alongside Lowry on three under.

England’s Danny Willett started the day one shot off South Korea’s Im and moved to the top of the leaderboard after an impressive front nine.

But three successive bogeys after the turn saw the 2016 champion drop off the pace and he ended on one under after a 74.

American veteran Stewart Cink claimed the first hole-in-one of the tournament, sparking fervent celebrations when he aced the par-three 16th.

More to follow.

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