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The Masters turns into a menace. Scheffler, DeChambeau and Homa hold on to share the lead

Max Homa hits from the bunker on the 18th hole during the weather delayed first round at the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, April 12, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/George Walker IV) Max Homa hits from the bunker on the 18th hole during the weather delayed first round at the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, April 12, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)
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AUGUSTA, Ga. -

Max Homa played the most beautifully boring round of golf amid raging wind and endless calamity Friday in the Masters, giving him a share of the lead with Scottie Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau going into a weekend for the survivors.

Homa made 15 pars -- they all felt so much better than that -- for a 1-under 71.

Scheffler finally made his first bogey of the Masters and then a few more, but he was rock solid down the stretch for a 72, his highest score of the year. DeChambeau played the 13th hole from the 14th fairway -- at one point hoisting a wooden directional sign over his shoulder as he plotted his move -- and finished with a 73.

For some 12 hours, the wind roared through the pines, scattered magnolia leaves across pristine Augusta National, and blew sand out of the white bunkers and into the faces of the players as they tried to handle a beast of a course.

"Mostly what I was trying to do out there was make a bunch of pars and stay in the golf tournament," Scheffler said, a testament to just how difficult it was.

The 60 players who made the cut at 6-over 150 are expected to get a slight reprieve, though still plenty of wind. And that weekend will include Tiger Woods.

Woods set a Masters record by making the cut for the 24th consecutive time. He had to play 23 holes -- five in the morning to finish the weather-delayed first round, and then a second round in which he kept the ball in play and posted an even-par 72.

He was only seven shots behind and still very much in the tournament.

"I'm here. I have a chance to win the golf tournament," Woods said. "I got my two rounds in."

That's really what it was all about -- finishing, surviving.

"That was about as happy as you could be to be off of a golf course," Homa said. "That was so hard. We got the sand shower to end our day. So it was kind of the golf course saying, 'Get the hell out of here."'

The average score was 75.09. Only eight players broke par, the same number of players who shot 80 or higher. Ludvig Aberg had the low round at 69.

"I've never experienced anything like this before," DeChambeau said. "But what a great test."

Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., was the low Canadian, tied for 24th spot after a tough day saw him shoot a 4-over 76. Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., was one over.

Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., and Nick Taylor, also of Abbotsford, missed the cut.

Homa heard some of the loudest cheers, even if they weren't for him. He spent two days with Woods, and caught the full experience of largest galleries, all of them rising to their feet when Woods approached tee boxes, or the 15th green that he managed to reach in two.

"The memories will just be a lot of the Tiger stuff," Homa said. "I hope to build my own come this weekend, but I fortunately think I've done a good enough job of playing it one shot at a time that I can't really remember a ton of the round at the moment. I played really well, and I tried to play as boring as possible.

"I think just the view of this beautiful golf course with the sea of fans, it will be seared in my brain for a while."

The leaders were at 6-under 138, two shots clear of Masters newcomer Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark, who shot a 73. Two-time major champion Collin Morikawa, one of only two fortunate souls to break par each of the first two rounds, had a 70 and was three behind.

Justin Thomas will have far worse memories. He was even par for the tournament on the par-5 15th hole, very much in the tournament. He hit iron to lay up and it raced along the turf and into the pond. That was the start of a double bogey-double bogey-bogey-double bogey finish. He shot 79 and missed the cut by one shot.

Defending champion Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy looked as though they might join him, but that was before the cut line began to move.

Rahm made a late charge for a 76, leaving him 11 shots out of the lead. McIlroy, missing only the Masters for the career Grand Slam, didn't make a birdie for only the third time in his 56 trips around Augusta National. He shot 77 and was 10 shots back.

Homa has some experience of the grandest of stages, playing with Woods during his final British Open at St. Andrews. He was far more comfortable with Woods at Augusta National, and his game was a big part of it. Homa picked up two early birdies, one of them on the par-3 fourth when he had to hit 7-wood.

His lone bogey was on the 11th, the hardest hole at Augusta National, and he buckled down against the most extreme conditions.

DeChambeau was the only player to reach 8 under at any point with his birdie on the 13th hole that was quite the expedition. He drove right into the pines and didn't see a clear route back to the fairway -- not the 13th fairway, anyway.

So he looked to the right toward the 14th hole, even removing the sign post that he briefly carried over his shoulder -- "It was probably 30 pounds, not too bad," he said -- and left himself 145 yards over the tributary to Rae's Creek to a back right pin.

"The patrons were nice enough to move over to the side to make sure it was wide enough so if I hit an errant one, nobody would get hit by the ball," he said. "I hit a great great shot around the corner and was able to take advantage of a pretty open entrance to the green."

He hit it to about 15 feet for birdie and dropped two shots coming in. In those conditions, that was acceptable.

The wind was so fierce that players thought it might be called, with balls oscillating and gusts arriving without notice. As it was, the rounds took nearly six hours to play.

Scheffler hit driver and 3-iron onto the 15th green on Thursday, and driver and 3-iron just to lay up on the 15th on Friday.

"It can be three clubs different, depending on what time you hit it," Harris English said. "Ten to 20 seconds later or earlier, it can be a totally different shot."

Among those making the cut were three Masters champions -- 58-year-old Jose Maria Olazabal, 61-year-old Vijay Singh and 53-year-old Phil Mickelson -- who have combined to play the Masters 97 times.

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