Tiger Woods had some good moments, some unlucky outcomes and a couple of blunders Thursday in his opening round of the Masters. Given what he's gone through over the last past year or so, he surely wasn’t going to complain. His day at Georgia's Augusta National was Woods' first competitive round of golf against the world's best players since he played the final round of the pandemic-delayed Masters on Nov. 15, 2020. The final numbers Thursday: three birdies, two bogeys in a 1-under par round of 71, the AP reports. The average first-round score of Woods' five Masters wins: 70.8.
Woods' round began at 11:04am, after he shook hands with his playing partners, Louis Oosthuizen and Joaquin Niemann. Patrons lined both sides of the first fairway and surrounded the tee box, trying to capture a glimpse of the moment. Woods was first to play in the group, tugged at the bill of his cap when he was introduced to acknowledge the fans, then stepped to the ball. He didn't appear to like the outcome, grimacing a bit as he watched the ball fly toward a bunker along the right side of the fairway. But his Masters was underway.
He couldn't quite bend over to read the putts on the course's tricky greens, but there otherwise was little to suggest he'd been severely injured in a car crash. "I felt good," Woods said later, per the AP. "Once the adrenaline kicks in and I get into my own little world, I knew I should be able to handle business." As he walked briskly toward the clubhouse at the end of his round, Woods heard shouts of "Way to go, Tiger!" from the spectators. After a grueling day that stretched to nearly 5½ hours, Woods was asked what was next. "Lots of ice," he said. (More Tiger Woods stories.)