Woods only four back as Spieth troubles bunch up Masters leaderboard

Tiger Woods started his second round at the Masters, where the leaderboard had become considerably more bunched on round two.

Tiger Woods at Augusta   -  Getty Images

Tiger Woods did not need to strike a ball to start his second round at the Masters in considerably better shape than at the end of his opening 18 holes, as Jordan Spieth's front-nine struggles bunched up the leaderboard.

On Thursday, Woods gritted out a one-over-par 73 in his first Augusta round since 2015, which left him seven shots behind overnight leader Jordan Spieth.

However, Spieth's usual magic at Augusta was lacking as he toiled to a doubey-bogey, bogey start and dropped another stroke at the par-four seventh on Friday.

The 2015 champion was consequently two under for the tournament through eight holes of round two, on a tricky opening to the day in terms of scoring for the majority of the field.

It meant that Woods started his second round just four strokes adrift of six players tied for the lead at three under. Of that group, Matt Kuchar and Bernd Wiesberger had played 10 and five holes respectively, while Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, Charley Hoffman and Adam Hadwin were in the final two groups who had yet to tee off.

As Woods marched down the first fairway, there were 22 players within two shots of the lead.

Rory McIlroy had briefly shared first place with Kuchar, but three bogeys outweighed two birdies and the Northern Irishman was one shot off the pace after nine holes of his second round.