Cleared for landing


AUGUSTA, Ga. – The airspace over Augusta National is much more quiet on Friday. After a day that featured multiple flyovers by single-engine planes trailing banners that were critical of Tiger Woods, the only thing prowling the skies was a hawk and the only thing between the world No. 1 and the English armada leading the Masters was a few missed putts.

Woods is 6 under through 16 holes, three behind Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, after birdies at the inward par 5s (Nos. 13 and 15).

Conventional wisdom has also been put on the defensive. The thought was those playing with Woods, K.J. Choi and Matt Kuchar, and those playing in the group in front of him, Steve Stricker and Ian Poulter, were going to suffer because of the massive gallery that followed Woods. Choi is tied with Woods at 6 under and Poulter is colorfully closing on his first major.

“He was so looking forward to it,” said Steve Bann, Choi’s swing coach. “The No. 1 player in the world, at Augusta National, the atmosphere, unbelievable.’