He was paired with him in the final round of the British Open at Carnoustie previous year, where Woods briefly took the lead and the Italian never flinched, playing bogey-free to capture his first major.
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Woods has gone 14 years since he last won the green jacket, 11 years since his last major and had five surgeries - four on his back, the other to rebuild his left knee. All these questions will be answered in the coming days.
There's a reason there's no running at Augusta National: you might just take out a four-time champion.
Rose suffered a cruel lip-out with a seven-foot putt at the 17th hole and then went from bad to worse, hardly touching the hole with a four-footer at the last.
The 43-year-old American superstar fired a dramatic four-under par 68 to share sixth place on six-under 138 through 36 holes, one stroke behind a record Masters lead logjam of five co-leaders - all of them major winners - on seven-under 137.
"It is what it is", Woods said.
Yet Woods provided the day's biggest talking point, as he surged into contention having survived a dramatic scare on the 14th hole when a security guard - running in a bid to control spectators - slipped and nearly knocked golf's biggest star off his feet.
"The last two major championships I've been right there", Woods said.
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What's happening is a weekend at Augusta National loaded with top players, and not just those tied at 7-under 136.
After two early birdies and a bogey, Woods missed an eight-foot par putt at the par-5 eighth hole and seemed destined for an unspectacular round.
"It is what it is", Woods said on ESPN after carding a 4 under 68 to move to one shot off the lead.
"It was a solid day off the tee, hit the ball well", Molinari said. "It will be an exciting day tomorrow".
No one figures to be as excited as Finau, who turned his ankle celebrating a hole-in-one in the par 3 contest past year.
"The last three majors, I've been right there", Woods said.
After scorching to the turn in 30, Finau threatened to at least match the course record when he birdied the two par-fives on the homeward stretch, but he was unable to find another as he settled for a 64 and the early clubhouse lead on 11 under.
The list of contenders might be impressive, but nobody draws a crowd like Woods.
Molinari is trying to win his second major in two years after winning the 2018 British Open. Molinari sees it another way. "We understand how to play this golf course, and it is advantageous".