Tiger Woods is one of the most popular golfers of all-time, and he certainly draws the biggest crowds of anyone currently on the PGA Tour.
As a result, Woods requires beefed up security wherever he goes, including inside the ropes. On Friday at the Masters, that additional security nearly derailed the 14-time major champion from his quest to capture No. 15.
Beginning the second round four shots behind the first round leaders, Woods cobbled together a 1-under par front nine to head to Augusta National’s gettable second nine four shots back of the growing number of players populating the top of the leaderboard.
After birdieing the uber-difficult 11th hole, Woods missed a 5-foot birdie putt on 12 — after being put on hold between his tee shot and his putt by a weather delay — and failed to convert another birdie opportunity on the par-5 13th.
The 14th hole, which played as the fifth hardest hole on the course Friday, didn’t provide much opportunity for a birdie chance, especially after Woods hit his tee shot into the left trees.
With a throng of patrons cleared, and after surveying the shot, Woods found an opening in the tree canopy and hit a ridiculous recovery shot to inside 30 feet from the hole. In the immediate aftermath of the shot, Woods made a break for the fairway as the crowd of humanity closed in on him.
In the rush to protect Woods, an ambitious security guard came running behind him, slipped on the wet surface and clipped Woods’ ankle, causing the 4-time major Masters winner to hop and then subsequently limp back to the fairway.
Tiger almost got taken out by the security guard :hushed: pic.twitter.com/wUpiuwLHln
— ESPN (@espn) April 12, 2019
Despite the ankle injury scare, Woods rolled in the 30-foot birdie putt to get within two shots of the lead. He was able to put together an old-fashioned birdie on the par-5 15th by laying up and getting up and down from 128 yards to get within one shot of the lead.
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 12, 2019
Woods would end his day at 6-under par, one shot back of a cadre of major winners perched atop the Augusta National leaderboard at 7-under. However, it was the injury scare that was on everyone’s mind after the round.
“It’s all good,” Woods said. “Accidents happen. I’ve had galleries run over me. When you play in front of a lot of people, things happen.”
Golf.com’s Dylan Dethier caught up with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations officer who clipped Woods before Augusta National could stop him from speaking to the media.
“Everyone was just coming in so fast and we try to get in the right spot,” the officer said, who requested anonymity. “It’s so slippery. I was fine until I slipped…and almost got Tiger Woods. He made birdie, so I guess it all worked out.
“Man, I am really glad he made birdie.”
Woods tees off in the third round alongside Ian Poulter at 2:05 p.m. ET one shot back of Brooks Koepka, Francesco Molinari, Adam Scott, Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen.