Tiger roars but Lowry exits with a whimper as McIlroy digs deep to make weekend
Vintage Woods hunts down leaders as eagle-eyed Rory battles to stay on right course Vincent Hogan
The second round of the Masters roared into life last night with an elite group of five taking a share of the lead into the weekend, but there was no doubting that Tiger Woods was the story of the day.
The 14-time Major winner inspired the roars of old around Augusta as a second-round 68 left him one shot off the halfway lead shared by Open champion Francesco Molinari, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen on seven-under par.
Even the long leg of the law couldn't halt his charge. As he escaped from the trees on the 14th hole and walked toward the fairway to see how the shot landed, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation officer ran down a small slope to help control the spectators behind Woods. The officer lost his footing on the wet grass, sliding into Woods' right foot, making him stumble.
Woods flexed his ankle, then walked to the 14th green without a limp. His stride looked even better going to the cup after making a 15-foot birdie. He followed that up with another birdie on 15 before closing with three pars after missing birdie putts on the last two holes.
Rory McIlroy was forced to dig deep on a day his driving sent him on the scenic route around Augusta National, but he goes into the weekend on level-par after a one-under-par 71, that featured an eagle on the par-five eighth.
However, it's an early exit for Shane Lowry who followed his disappointing first round of 78 with yesterday's one-over-par 73.
"The damage was done yesterday because going around here, trying to chase a score... it's the last place in the world you want to be doing that," said Lowry.
World number one Justin Rose also missed the cut as he could only add a second round of 73 to his opening 75.