Tiger Woods in Round 2, coverage Friday

Woods grabs spotlight as Leishman takes lead

His first competitive round at the Masters in three years certainly wasn't the best one for Tiger Woods.

Leishman birdied three of his first seven holes and finished at 2-under-par 69 while playing alongside the main attraction at the first major of 2018. He flew the back of the green from there and had a 12-footer to salvage a birdie on what has been the easiest hole on the course.

He was joined by Masters newcomer Li Haotong of China, former British Open champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden, Spain's Rafael Cabrera Bello, Canadian Adam Hadwin and Americans Patrick Reed and Charley Hoffman.

Frittelli's approach shot on 18 sailed well beyond the green on that steep uphill hole, and four rows of the chair back seats had to be removed to let him get a shot.

He almost drove the green at the par-4 third and chipped past the hole.

Spieth rolled in a 14-foot eagle at the eighth, and two-putted from 40-feet for a birdie at 13. It plopped down 5 feet away.

Most aggravating was playing the par 5s without a birdie.

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Woods's return to the Masters after a two-year absence due to multiple spinal operations was well received by the fans, who gave him a standing ovation when he appeared on the range for his warm-up session.

Woods, dressed in black, was greeted to loud cheers from the onlookers crammed around the first tee where after acknowledging them with a subtle nod and touch of his visor, went on to hook his opening shot into the trees left of the fairway.

Woods does have some precedent on his side to leave hope he can be among those with a chance to win. He also knows it could have been worse, especially after dumping a 9-iron into Rae's Creek on the par-3 12th hole and having to make a 15-foot putt for bogey and avoid falling to 4-over par. He was supposed to be a rival for Tiger Woods after they had a showdown at the 1999 PGA Championship, and is known as one of the finest strikers of the ball in golf. In the past decade, of 64 players to finish within five of the lead, only 17 were positioned lower than 13th at this stage.

He was good to go for Thursday, shooting a -4 with a 68, which was quite impressive given the circumstances. He wasn't alone. He was among 30 players who made bogey there; four players walked off the green forced to write a 6 on their scorecard. He started running toward the hole to celebrate, then turned and backpedaled before landing awkwardly on his left ankle.

Last year, he who is from Spain reigned, winning his first major title after 74 tries. He has been away from golf for much of the last few years because of his four back surgeries.

But we all can relate to the disaster that befell last year's Masters champion, Sergio Garcia, on Thursday.

Tiger Woods is back at the Masters.

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Absolutely gutted", Pearson, a Gold Coast resident who had been the Games' main ambassador for years, told reporters on Thursday. Earlier, Gururaja survived a few anxious moments after two failed attempts in clean and jerk to claim a silver medal.

The top of the historic Augusta National leaderboard.

The low point came last summer when he was arrested on a DUI charge in Florida after police found him asleep behind the wheel, his vehicle parked awkwardly on the side of the road with the engine still running. "I feel like getting off to a good start will allow me to keep that mindset for the next few days".

He returned this season and has played in six events.

"It's nice that I was able to shoot a score like this", he said.

He drove the ball well to open Thursday's first round, but needed 11 puts through the first six holes.

However, the opening round belonged to three-time major champion Spieth, who will be favoured to add a fourth this weekend.

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