AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) The very first standing ovation came on the exercise range.
There was a lot more applause when he strolled towards the 18th green, though most of the customers stayed in their fold-out seats.
Tiger Woods is back at the Masters.
Just not in the position a lot of his fans were wishing he would be.
Hardwoods plodded through an unspectacular opening circular on Thursday, settling for a 1-over 73 that left him remote the lead but still feeling great about his chances.
Considering the buildup that accompanied their first competitive round at Augusta National since 2015, it might’ ve seemed like a bit of a letdown.
Not to Woods.
” I could have easily allow round slip away from me, yet I got it back, ” he mentioned, brimming with that bravado of older. ” And I’ m back in this tournament. ”
When Woods stepped to the initial tee on a sunny, brisk early morning, the patrons finally heard what they’ ve missed out on at the final two Masters.
” Fore, please. Tiger Woods now generating. ”
The regards could be heard throughout the course.
” I was pretty sure they will weren’ t feeling anticipation regarding me, ” quipped Tommy Fleetwood , who else joined Woods in a threesome that will also included Marc Leishman . ” However yeah, you could definitely feel it. ”
Dressed in black through head to toe, Woods tried to method his first shot like any additional.
” Hit just a little fade up the left side, ” he thought.
The particular ball wound up in the trees still left of the fairway.
” It didn’ t fade, ” Woods said with a sly smile.
As the sun jumped higher against the blue sky, the particular temperature climbing into the 60s, Hardwoods slipped off his black jumper and played the rest of the round to put it briefly sleeves.
He fought on the par-5s, which are normally their bread and butter at Augusta, and that kept him from acquiring his score into negative quantities.
He wasn’ capital t complaining.
After all he’ s been through – the surgical procedures, the personal troubles, the lingering uncertainties that he’ d ever have the ability to compete again for major competition – just being out on the particular course, once again at the center from the golf universe, made him think that a winner.
Two birdies over the final five holes assisted his mood, too.
” A 73 is fine, ” Woods said. ” By the end from the week, this will be a pretty packed leaderboard the way the golf course is set up. They have this right where they want it. It’ s really hard to run away from it, yet it’ s also really easy to shed it out there. By the end of the 7 days there will be a bunch of guys with an opportunity to win this tournament. ”
He intends to be one of these.
But for now, there’ s work to be done.
The par-5s would be a great place to start. Over the course of his brilliant Experts career, the four-time champion offers played those four longest openings at a cumulative 150 under k?rester.
On Thursday, he or she settled for a 5 at each of these.
It felt a lot more like four bogeys.
” I didn’ t play the particular par-5s very well, ” Woods conceded. ” I have to hit better photos and better chips, too. ”
He really fought through Amen Corner, the famous three-hole stretch at the far advantage of the club.
A terrible tee shot at the 11th travelled past the trees of the right, great next shot clipped some followers in the gallery, forcing Woods in order to scramble for a bogey. He produced another bogey at the 12th – the shortest hole on the training course – when he chunked the 9-iron off the tee and viewed the ball splash into Rae’ s Creek. Another wayward first tee short at the 13th wound up within the pine straw, leaving Woods without chance to go for the green. He or she pushed his second shot in to the gallery lining the right side from the fairway, and missed a 12-footer for birdie.
When this occurs, Woods was 3-over for the day plus looking very much like he might be for the verge of falling apart.
He managed to pull this together.
A brilliant method at the 14th curled up regarding 8 feet short of the banner, and Woods rolled in the birdie putt. He sank a 20-footer for another birdie at the par-3 sixteenth, giving him a bit of momentum proceeding into Friday.
He or she was also feeling plenty of relief.
” I played in the major championship again, ” Forest said, ” but also the fact that I acquired myself back in this tournament, and am could have easily let it slip aside. And I fought hard to get it in there, and I’ m in this championship. There’ s plenty of holes to be played. ”
Stick to Paul Newberry on Twitter from www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963. His work can be found from https://apnews.com/search/paul newberry
For more AP golfing coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Golf