Tiger Woods hits from a sand trap on the second hole during first round play of the 2019 Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, U.S., April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) – Augusta National was bracing for the return of Tiger-mania on Saturday with Tiger Woods going toe-to-toe against an all-star leaderboard in what is expected to be an extraordinary day of golfing theater.
Italy’s Francesco Molinari, South African Louis Oosthuizen, American Brooks Koepka and Australians Jason Day and Adam Scott — major winners all — share top spot on a glittering Masters leaderboard but Woods is the man lurking one shot behind that everyone is coming to see.
It has been 11 years since Woods won the last of his 14 major titles and many expect to see him end the drought on
Sunday with what would be a fifth Green Jacket after he surged into contention on Friday behind a brilliant four-under 68.
But the path to the Green Jacket will not be easy with a pack of major winners in front of him at seven under.
Woods will begin the third round at 2:05 pm ET (1805 GMT) with English journeyman Ian Poulter but the names following him out will all be very familiar.
British Open winner Molinari and Australian former world number one Day will be on the course at 2:45 pm ET ahead of two-time defending U.S. Open champion Koepka and 2013 Masters winner Scott.
They will be followed by South African British Open winner Oosthuizen and Dustin Johnson, who ended the second round at six under alongside Woods.
(This version of the story corrects Woods’s partner in sixth paragraph)