Pain-free... Jason Day has surged into Masters contention. Picture: Getty
Pain-free... Jason Day has surged into Masters contention. Picture: Getty

The most incredible day in Masters history?

THIS has to go down as one of the most bizarre and incredible days of golf on record.

From duffed drives, wild shots, all-time greats being nearly taken out by slide tackles and just general golf craziness, surely it's unmatched.

It all started with 2007 champion Zach Johnson coming up with a series of forgettable strokes, which were followed up by a handful of blunders by the rest of the field.

But the day hit a crescendo as Tiger Woods came within a whisker of being ironed out by a security guard during a sizzling run that left him firmly in contention at the halfway mark of the tournament.

And then there was Rory McIlroy's ball ending up in a golf cart.

And that's before we touch on the incredible recuperative powers of Australia's Jason Day who, spurred on by his wife's stinging advice to "suck it up", overcame a back injury to set the pace and jag a share of the lead.

The cherry on top of an utterly absurd day? Something that has never happened before - five sharing the lead and they're all major winners.

It was well and truly Freaky Friday at Augusta.

Tiger took it all in his stride. Picture: Getty Images
Tiger took it all in his stride. Picture: Getty Images

And there was nothing more shocking than the footage of Woods hopping around in pain after copping a bizarre slide tackle.

Four-time champion Woods had burnt up the back nine - after his charge was briefly halted by a 25-minute delay for dangerous lightning - with some classic play and truly looked back to his best.

But then he found himself deep in the pine trees following a wild drive off the tee on the 14th and for a second, everything looked like it was about to unravel.

After producing a miracle recovery shot to find the green, Woods was nearly taken out in sensational fashion by a security guard who had slipped on the mud caused by earlier rain and was rushing towards Woods.

The guard clipped Woods' foot and ankle, leaving him hopping away in pain before making his way to the green - where he pulled off a monster putt to ice a truly remarkable birdie.

To his credit, Woods played down the incident after the day's play.

"It is what it is - accidents happen. We move on. I'm good," the 13-time major winner said.

"Other than having four knee surgeries and four back surgeries, I'm great."

The birdie on 14 was one of six he it on the day and took him to six-under, one behind the five-way share of the lead.

That is owned by Day, fellow Australian Adam Scott, British Open winner Francesco Molinari, three-time major winner Brooks Koepka and Open champion Louis Oosthuizen,  at seven-under par.

Earlier, Zach Johnson had the galleries gasping when his accidentally sent a tee shot flying all of three feet when his practice swing caught the side of the ball.

It resulted in the worst drive you're likely to see at Augusta, with Johnson's ball ricocheting off the tee box to land a solid three feet down the course.

The tour veteran got off lightly, however, as he escaped without penalty and was able to re-tee and have a second go.

"Regarding Zach Johnson hitting the ball on a practice swing at #themasters, since he had no intention of striking the ball, he has not made a stroke," explained the USPGA.

"On the teeing area, there is no penalty and the player simply re-tees because the ball is not yet in play."

Remarkably, Johnson turned things around to finish with a birdie on 13. But his bad day out wasn't quite done yet.

Johnson then let rip with a horror iron which he sprayed into unsuspecting patrons, who were sent scattering.

Ultimately, he finished with a one-over 73 and finished three-over after two rounds. But it wasn't just Johnson whose radar was off on Friday.

Take Spain's Jon Rahm, who held a share of the lead on Thursday and remains firmly in contention but will surely be hoping footage of this nightmarish swing doesn't go viral.

To top it all off, former world No.1 Rory McIlroy had officials scratching their heads for a ruling when a wayward shot ended up in, of all places, a golf cart.

He was ultimately given a free drop and continued a mostly lacklustre round, finishing even par - avoiding the cut, but a long way from contending.

On any other day it would've been the most bizarre incident of the day. On Freaky Friday, it probably just managed to crack the top 10.

MISSED THE CUT

The Masters still uses the rule that those within 10 shots of the lead advance to the weekend rounds, meaning the cut fell at three over.

Big names such as Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia (four over), former Masters winner Charl Schwartzel (five over) and Paul Casey (10 over) all missed the cut.

News Corp Australia


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