Tiger Woods cops accidental slide tackle after miracle shot at US Masters

A general view of the 10th hole is seen during a practice round

He tied the first-nine record with a 6-under 30 on the front nine to become the first player to reach 9-under in the 83rd edition of the Masters.

One hole earlier, a pinpoint chip to set up birdie had drawn with one shot.

But after producing a miracle recovery shot to find the green, Woods was almost taken out in sensational fashion by a security guard who slid in, after slipping on the mud caused by earlier rain while rushing to protect the superstar.

Any other time, a hobbled Day might have might have been the story after getting up off the deck to shoot five-under 67.

"I feel like I played my own way back into the tournament", said Woods, who is seeking his first major victory since 2008.

Woods returned from spinal fusion surgery last year and contended at the British Open and PGA Championship then snapped a five-year US PGA Tour win drought at the Tour Championship and stretched his comeback story again Friday with no health issues after great play on one of golf's biggest stages.

"It is what it is", Woods said.

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That left him just shy of the biggest co-leader pack ever after 36 holes at the Masters, the five one more than in 2017 and 1973 - each time the eventual victor coming from the top foursome.

Tony Finau of the USA looks up the 4th hole before hitting during third round play. "Accidents happen, and we move on".

A birdie on the 10th was immediately cancelled out on the next and another bogey looked on the cards after his drive on the 13th clipped a tree - but after pitching out on to the fairway McIlroy hit his approach to 13 feet and holed for birdie. Had he made a couple of makable putts earlier in the round, including a four footer on 12 just after a brief weather delay, Woods could be tied for the lead. It must be the hills, because I've been playing and hitting a lot of balls recently with no ill-effects.

"It's a bunched leader board ... if someone decides to break away on the weekend I'm in a good spot to run with them".

Having not won The Masters since 2005, fans have already started dreaming of seeing the 14-time major champion pull on the green jacket once more.

Koepka fired a 71 despite a double-bogey disaster at the par-5 second hole, birdies at 15 and 18 salvaging a sub-par round.

Justin Hading, who surged to the top of the leaderboard for much of Round 1, was still in the hunt at six-under par.

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