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Tiger Woods makes cut at Masters, breaks all-time record with 24 consecutive cuts

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Tiger Woods during the second round of the 2024 Masters Tournament. (Ben Jared/PGA TOUR))

Tiger Woods during the second round of the 2024 Masters Tournament. (Ben Jared/PGA TOUR))

    Written by Sean Martin @PGATOURSMartin

    AUGUSTA, Ga. – The second day of the 88th Masters was never going to be kind to Tiger Woods. It was an intersection of worst-case scenarios, with Woods having to play early and often in cold temperatures. It takes him hours to get his battered body ready to play golf, which meant an early wake-up call Friday morning to resume his first round at 7:50 a.m.

    He had to play the final five holes of his opening round before arriving at the first tee to start his second. For a man who said earlier this week that “every shot that’s not on a tee box is a challenge,” 18 holes is more than enough. Especially on the hilliest course players face all year. Add in the cold and windy conditions that make it difficult to loosen up a body pieced together by screws and rods and fused joints, and it seemed that the factors had conspired against him this week.

    But Friday also was an opportunity to make more history at a course he admires more than any other. Woods said earlier this week that he is here to win. That he teed it up because he believes another victory is still possible “if everything comes together.” Victories are what drive him, but they do not cause him to downplay the seemingly mundane act of just making the cut.

    After all, you can’t do one without the other. While many define Woods by his 82 PGA TOUR wins and 15 major championships, there is another number that he also cites: 142. That’s the number of consecutive cuts he made from 1998 to 2005. It is on his long list of PGA TOUR records. It is a testament to his willingness to grind, to put in the extra effort when things aren’t going his way.

    On Friday, he had the opportunity to establish another record cuts streak. He was seeking his 24th consecutive made cut in this tournament, a streak that would surpass the mark he shared with Gary Player and Fred Couples. Despite the unfavorable conditions and his physical limitations, Woods did so with relative ease, shooting 73-72 to finish well inside the line. He was T25 when he walked off the 18th green Friday afternoon. He promised that a needling text message would soon be sent to Couples to mark the occasion.

    “It's consistency, it's longevity, and it's an understanding of how to play this golf course,” Woods said Tuesday of the record. "Now, you still have to go out and execute it, but there's a lot of knowledge that goes into understanding how to play (Augusta National). …That's the neat thing about this. I can still go through the mental Rolodex and bring out a few putts from the '90s that still move generally in that direction and the effect that Rae's Creek has on certain shots and putts. And it means a lot.”

    Woods’ affection for Augusta National comes not just from the genius of Alister MacKenzie’s design, which allows him to fully utilize his creativity and shot-making skills, but also because of the course’s annual accumulation of history. This is the same place where he played his first major championship, competing in 1995 as the reigning U.S. Amateur champion. He watched from the Crow’s Nest as Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson and Sam Snead hit the ceremonial tee shots. Three years later, he marveled at the fact that those three were drinking the milkshakes he had on his Champion’s Dinner menu.

    “There's such an aura and mystique about playing this golf course,” he said.

    He played practice rounds with Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus in his first Masters, and has been playing here long enough to see the likes of Jordan Spieth and Scottie Scheffler put on the green jacket. Augusta National spans generations. Woods missed the cut in his second Masters, so this record-setting streak started with his 12-shot victory here in 1997. He has won here five times but also played through swing changes and injury and personal scandal. No matter what, he has always found a way to make the cut. For two dozen years in a row.

    Tiger Woods’ 1997 victory at the Masters | 25 years later

    Woods tied the record last year by slogging through torrential rains and temperatures in the 40s as he completed his suspended second round early on a Saturday morning. Woods, who would need ankle surgery weeks later, was seen limping up the hill on the par-4 17th as he finished his round.

    This year, he arrived at Augusta National with just 24 holes of competitive golf under his belt.

    Though he said late last year that he hoped to compete once a month in 2024, Woods only appeared at The Genesis Invitational before this week. Six holes into his second round at Riviera, he had to withdraw with the flu. His body didn’t allow him to make another start before Augusta, he said.

    “Some days I just feel really good,” he said, “and other days, not so much.”

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    His mind, and his hands, are still world class. The question each time he tees it off is whether his body will allow him to use them to their full capabilities. Woods plays the role of wily veteran these days. No longer overpowering courses with his length, he hits a sliding fade off the tee to keep his ball in play and uses a crafty short game to stay around par. He made the cut easily despite hitting less than half his greens (17 of 36).

    "His short game was so good. I don't think I can explain how good some of the chip shots he hit today were," said Max Homa, who played alongside Woods. "He's special.

    "We had a really quick turnaround, and if I was feeling tired and awful. I imagine he was feeling even worse," Homa added. "All the cliches you hear about him and all the old stories about how he will grind it out, it was fun to see that in person."

    Woods was 1-under par when play was suspended Thursday evening. He made two bogeys on the five holes he played Friday morning, signing for a 1-over 73. He started the second round with pars on his first two holes before playing a six-hole stretch without a single par. He made birdie on the third hole, hitting a 91-yard wedge shot to 9 feet before bogeys on Nos. 4 and 5, two of the course’s most difficult holes. Then he chipped in on the par-3 sixth. He made another bogey after finding a greenside bunker on the par-4 seventh and rebounded with birdie at the par-5 eighth. Five consecutive pars followed before a bogey at the 14th hole. But he reached the green in two to birdie the par-5 15th before closing with three consecutive pars.

    “I'm here,” he said. “I have a chance to win the golf tournament.”

    That wouldn’t be possible without making the cut. Add another record to Woods’ remarkable Masters career.

    Sean Martin is a senior editor for the PGA TOUR. He is a 2004 graduate of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. Attending a small school gave him a heart for the underdog, which is why he enjoys telling stories of golf's lesser-known players. Follow Sean Martin on Twitter.

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