The Masters 2022 Halfway Hut: Tiger Woods believes and Scottie Scheffler leads

News, stats, quotes and social after 36 holes at Augusta National where the World No. 1 leads the field by five.

Tiger Woods believes.

He was in a car accident 14 months ago that might have killed him. He might have lost his leg. He was stuck in bed for three months. He endured agony in surgery and rehabilitation. He's still suffering now.

So what does it matter that he's T19th and nine shots back of Scottie Scheffler's lead heading into the weekend?!

What does it matter that the last 30 winners of the Masters were all T12th or better at halfway - and that all 30 were within six shots?

Woods has overcome greater obstacles and he's having fun because he's doing what he does best - he's competing.

He also knows where he wants to be this weekend - in touch around the turn on Sunday - and that the golf course is about to change.

"I've got a chance," he said after grinding out a Friday 74 for a 36-hole total of 145, nine back of the lead, but only four back of a quartet tied for second.

"It's going to be cool tomorrow," he added, his mind working clearly and competitively. "It's going to be the golf course that Augusta National wants. It's going to be quicker, dryer, faster, and it will be a great test.

"Hopefully I'll have one of those light bulb moments and turn it on in the weekend and get it done. If you are within five or six going into the back nine, anything can happen. I need to get myself there. That's the key. I need to get myself there."

The Woods show will be a wonderful Saturday appetiser whatever happens. The sheer delight of knowing that he's in a with a sniff will electrify Augusta.

And if nothing comes of it, the main course will be served up later, seeing what those stacked up behind Scheffler can achieve.

He's completed rounds of 69-67 for an 8-under total of 136 and looked superb in doing it. Most notably he had been relaxed. The big questions remain however: Most pertinently, can he stay relaxed as the pressure increases?

His nearest pursuers are 2011 winner Charl Schwartzel, first round leader Sungjae Im, 2029 Open champion Shane Lowry and the defending champion Hideki Matsuyama on 3-under.

A shot behind them are 2020 winner Dustin Johnson, 2020 runner-up Cameron Smith, debutant Harold Varner III and veteran Kevin Na.

Stats

The Masters has not been a good tournament for golfers who were off the pace. In fact, each of the last 30 winners was T12th or better at this stage - and 26 were tied sixth or better. All of them were within six blows of the lead.

If that trend maintains this year, only those golfers currently tied ninth or better on 2-under have a hope of slipping their arms inside the green jacket.

Scheffler has tied the largest 36-hole lead at the Masters and four of the five men who preceded him completed the win.

Quotes

Scottie Scheffler (8-under)

"I was fortunate to play the final round in 2020 with Tiger, and then I played two rounds with Phil Mickelson last year, and I learned a lot just by watching those guys manage their way around the golf course. One of my goals coming into today, Teddy (my caddie) and I talked about it, we wanted to play this golf course like Bernhard Langer does and kind of plot our way around. The guy seems to play good every year. I don't know how old he is now, he's not young, he's definitely one of the older guys in the field here, and he continues to beat people around this golf course."

Sungjae Im (3-under)

"I had quite a few sneak peeks at the leaderboard. At this moment I still have some golf to play, and if I continue to just focus on my game and just hit shot after shot, round after round, I think it will come to good results."

Charl Schwartzel (3-under)

"I haven't felt like I've played as badly as my results. I must be honest, though. These two rounds are one of the two best ball-striking rounds I've had in a very long time. The bad results didn't really determine how I felt coming in here. My confidence grew in belief that I could win this tournament because I was starting to hit it very good and I looked at old footage. It's still there."

Shane Lowry (3-under)

"It was one of the better rounds of my career. I'm very happy with my score. I'm in a great position going into the weekend. It's going to be hard. You're going to need everything to go your way to be standing there getting green on Sunday. But I'm where I want to be, I'm where I need to be, and I'm looking forward to it."

Harold Varner III (2-under)

"There's a reason I'm in here. We came down here to compete. It's a major. It's awesome. The emotions are real, but you handle them and manage them. My wife and my kid are here. I'm about to go squeeze him. He is going to throw up on me and it's going to be great."

Dustin Johnson (2-under)

"It felt like I was grinding all day. I'm not swinging driver as well as I'm swinging everything else. I feel really comfortable with all the other clubs in my bag."

Rory McIlroy (2-over)

"I do enjoy the challenge. Yeah, this is what major championship golf is all about. It's not easy, and it's not supposed to be easy. I think the conditions look pretty similar tomorrow as well, so looking forward to that. I'd like to be a couple of shots better at least, but I'm still right there. You go out tomorrow and you play a decent front nine, and all of a sudden you're right in the thick of things."

Social media

Pure Augusta National:

He Cinks it:

Tiger doing Tiger things:

Irish hands:

Farewell:

READ MORE: The Masters 2022: Scottie Scheffler pulls five shots clear at halfway and Tiger Woods hangs tough

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