At the midpoint of the 2013 Masters, Tiger Woods is 3-under, settling inside the top 10 after a round of 71 on Friday. Some bad luck and his first ever three-putt on No. 18 put a tarnish on a round where Woods held a share of the lead for much of the day. But he's still in fine position to make a charge on moving day.
A Tiger lead by Friday night looked to be inevitable early in the afternoon, as Woods was striping his tee shots down the fairway, and then cleaning up around the green when he needed to save par. He started the day four shots back, but rainy conditions and tough pin placements ensured that no one was running away with it on Friday. First-round leader Sergio Garcia quickly came back to the back, and Dustin Johnson, who got to 7-under and held the lead at one point, imploded coming into the clubhouse. Marc Leishman hung around at the top of the board, but dropped a shot and it wasn't long before Tiger shared the lead at 5-under.
The big run came on the first nine, as Tiger carded three birdies in a four-hole stretch. He took advantage of the par-5 eighth to pull even with the leaders, but it would be his last red number on the par-5s for the day. Tiger's wedges and putter have carried him this season, and he continued to save pars with those clubs on Friday. But in addition to the short game, he's also been dominating the par-5s to race past the field get early leads on the weekends.
No par-5s have been friendlier to Woods in his career than No. 13 and No. 15 at Augusta National. But on Friday, he walked away from the two holes a combined 1-over. At No. 13, he opted to lay up short of Rae's Creek, and he could not get up and down for birdie. It's a hole where his aggregate score is lower than any other on the course, so it was certainly a disappointing par for Woods.
The disappointment at No. 15 was much more eventful, and cruel, as a wayward drive forced Tiger to lay up again short of the pond. With wedge in hand, he put his third shot right on top of the flagstick ... literally. His ball hit the pin, and spun back into the water for one of the unluckiest breaks in Masters history:
Remarkably, Woods kept his cool, dropped his ball and fired another shot within five feet of the pin. He sank the putt for an impressive "save" but his bogey-free round was over.
Woods was on the cusp of dropping another shot at No. 16, but his short game saved him again after he dumped one in the greenside bunker. On No. 18, however, he caught another unfortunate bounce when his ball went to the back of the green. This time, he went off-script with the flatstick and three-putted the 18th green for the first time in his career, dropping three shots back of Jason Day. Things were a bit sloppy for Woods after the unlucky bounce at No. 15.
With 36 holes to play, Tiger is still inside the top 10. He hasn't gone super low in either round, but he's steadily made his way to the first page of the leaderboard, and that's with the missed opportunities and bad luck on the par-5s on Friday. It was another under-par round for Tiger at Augusta, and he's now set up what should be an eventful moving day.