After a stellar start in which he had three birdies in four holes on the front side, Tiger Woods hit the No. 15 flagstick and struggled to a 1-under 71. He was at 3-under 141 for two rounds.


AUGUSTA, Ga. - Tiger Woods knew this day should've turned out so much better.

He was cruising toward the end of the second round at the Masters on Friday, tied for a share of the lead and looking every bit like the guy who would be in control heading to the weekend.

Then, with one tough break at the 15th hole, everything changed.

Woods struck the flagstick and wound up in the water, forcing him to scramble for bogey. A three-putt at the final hole left him with another bogey. Instead of leading, he found himself three shots behind 36-hole leader Jason Day.

"The sun was in my eyes, so I knew I started the ball on the flag," Woods said. "I didn't know if I cut it enough, but evidently it was a really good one."

Too good, in fact.

The ball struck the stick with a resounding thud, which sent it careening into the pond in front of the green. After taking his penalty stroke, Woods needed a brilliant do-over just to salvage bogey. The unfortunate bounce seemed to take all the momentum out of his round.

Woods finished with a 1-under 71 for a 3-under 141 overall.

He's right in the mix heading to the weekend, but seemed a bit stunned that his name wasn't higher on the leaderboard.

"I really swung the club well and didn't really get a lot out of this round," Woods said. "Granted, these conditions were tough. It was swirling all over the place."

Even playing in the afternoon, when the wind picked up significantly after a rainy, overcast morning, Woods got off to a stellar start. There was a stretch of three birdies in four holes on the front side. After a gust caught his tee shot at the par-3 12th, he pulled off a brilliant up-and-down from the back bunker.

"I was pretty (ticked)," he said. "I felt like I played really well today and the round should've been in the 60s."

Fly like an eagle

Bill Haas wasn't the only guy who made an eagle - there were 11 in all Friday.

His short iron that bounced twice and rolled straight into the cup at the 460-yard, par-4 ninth wasn't even the only eagle that came from the fairway; there were three of those.

But Haas' was the only one almost upstaged less than a minute after he knocked it in. Haas had barely finished high-fiving his caddie when a fan yelled at his playing partner, Jason Dufner, "Put it in, Duf!" - and he nearly did.

Dufner's approach landed just inches left of the hole, and as the gallery around the green roared, it rolled out to 4 feet. As consolation, though, Dufner, made a birdie.

Furyk plays it right

To be fair, the windy conditions and diabolical pin placements made eagles of any kind tough to come by. At no place was that more true than at No. 15, where the number dropped to two just a day after 10 golfers made threes on the 530-yard, par-5 hole.

"Yesterday that wind was kind of down and right on 15," said former UA star Jim Furyk. "Today it was mostly in and on the right. So, totally different, a totally different look."

One way to illustrate the difference was how, and how well, Furyk played the hole both days. In Thursday's opening round, he hit a hybrid for his second shot, landed it on the green and settled for par. On Friday, he used the same club to lay up short of the pond.