Four birdies on the front nine have moved Tiger Woods into contention during the third round at the Masters.
Woods began the day 12 shots behind leader Jordan Spieth, who set the tournament’s 36-hole record at 14 under. However, the four-time winner at Augusta National quickly closed the gap with three birdies in a row starting on No. 2.
He nearly made a hole-in-one at the par-3 fourth, his tee shot stopping less than a foot for the cup for a tap-in 2.
Another birdie on No. 8 moved him to 6 under for the tournament through nine holes.
Also making a major move is his rival, Phil Mickelson. Like Woods, Mickelson, who has won three Masters titles, had birdies on second, third and fourth holes.
He is 9 under and tied for second place with Charley Hoffman, six shots behind Spieth.
Rory McIlroy made an eagle at No. 2 and then birdied No. 8. Another birdie on the ninth hole gave him a front nine score of 4-under 32 and put him in a tie with Woods at 6 under.
But everyone is trailing Spieth, who has made 16 birdies and just one bogey in the tournament.
Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson at 8 under early in their rounds.
Spieth is paired in the final grouping with Hoffman, who finished the second round in second place, five shots back of the 21-year-old Texan.
The five-shot lead heading to the weekend matched the largest ever at the midway point of the tournament, joining Herman Keiser in 1946, Jack Nicklaus in 1975 and Raymond Floyd in 1976. They all went on to capture the green jacket.
SOURCE: USA Today