Tiger Woods makes record-equalling 23rd consecutive cut at Augusta

Tiger Woods enjoyed a little unintentional help from his friends as he made a record-equalling 23rd consecutive cut in the Masters.

While Jon Rahm overcame the miserable conditions on Saturday to close within two shots of leader Brooks Koepka, Woods had to battle to avoid an early exit from Augusta National for the first time as a professional.

The 15-time major winner had seven holes of his second round to complete when play resumed at 8am and followed three pars with a birdie on the 15th to get inside the projected cut mark.

However, dropped shots on the 17th and 18th left Woods on three over par and needing help from elsewhere to join Gary Player (1959-82) and Fred Couples (1983-2007) in the record books.

That assistance immediately arrived as good friend Justin Thomas badly hooked his tee shot on the 17th and went on to bogey the hole, dropping to three over himself and moving the cut to the same score.

Thomas also bogeyed the 18th to miss the cut as 54 players qualified for the last 36 holes on three over.

Speaking before the cut had been confirmed, Woods said: “I’ve always loved this golf course, and I love playing this event. Obviously I’ve missed a couple with some injuries, but I’ve always wanted to play here.

“I hope I get a chance to play this weekend. I wish I get a chance to play two more rounds.”

Rahm had reached nine under par midway through his round when play was suspended for the second time on Friday afternoon as strong winds brought three trees crashing down across the 17th tee, remarkably not injuring any spectators.

The world number three twice closed to within a shot of Koepka thanks to birdies on the 12th, 15th and 17th, but bogeys on the 16th and 18th meant he would start round three two behind.

“With the temperature we had and how long the golf course was playing, I was very happy to be able to play the back nine under par,” Rahm told ESPN after adding a 69 to his opening 65.

“The 18th was brutally difficult.”