Tiger Woods dazzles in his first competitive round in 17 months
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The 86th Masters began with the ceremonial first tee shots early this morning, but once the legends cleared the box, there was one man the patrons longed to see — Tiger Woods.
They were not disappointed.
In Woods’ first competitive round since his horrific car accident last year, he was in vintage form. Despite missing half of his greens, the five-time Masters winner kept himself afloat with excellent course management and a hot flatstick. He ended the day with a one-under 71 that has him three shots off the lead.
Check out below for all our updates from his round.
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Driving average: 288 yards
4:26 p.m.: Right in the center. Massive par save and Tiger will sign for 71 in his first competitive round in 17 months. Remarkable day at Augusta National.
4:21 p.m.: Useful shot there. Spins back a wedge under the hole and will have a great look at par for an opening 71.
4:15 p.m.: A bit of a break here for Tiger. His ball appears to have settled in casual water in the pine straw. Gets a free drop in the rough and advances the ball up toward the green. Will have to wedge it close to save par.
4:08 p.m.: Oh my word … Tiger’s ball misses well left of the fairway and never really had a chance. Will be interesting if he can save par from there.
3:59 p.m.: Justttt misses in the low side. Cleans up for par and he’ll head to the 18th one under.
3:53 p.m.: Tiger puts his approach right over the flagstick. Skids to a stop about 15 feet above the hole and he’ll have another look at birdie.
3:48 p.m.: Right side of the fairway at the 17th with the driver. Should have a good look at the green from there.
3:43 p.m.: Center cut. Tiger rolls it in from distance and he’s back to one under for the day. Absolutely huge putt.
3:38 p.m.: And he’s safely aboard at 16. Hits it short and right of the back-right location, but he will have a putt from there. Outside chance at birdie here.
3:31 p.m.: Leaves it just short up the hill. Tap-in par and Tiger will head into the last three at even par.
3:25 p.m.: Tiger lays up to ~120 yards in the left gallery. Hits his approach to the center of the green from there and will have a lengthy look for birdie.
3:15 p.m.: Tee shot on the 15th skirts a little left. We’ll see if he’s got a look at the green or if he’s blocked out by the trees.
3:11 p.m.: Oof. Tough miss on the par putt after he hit his chip some 8 feet past. Drops him to even for the day.
3:04 p.m.: Incredible recovery shot from the pine straw. Tiger takes a mighty lash and lofts the ball up over the trees, landing just over the green. Will have a great chance to get that up and in.
2:58 p.m.: Well that … was less than ideal. Tiger drop-kicks a driver left of the gallery and ends up in no-man’s land. He’ll have his work cut out for him if he wants to remain under par.
2:53 p.m.: He leaves it just short. Easy, tap-in birdie and he’s back in red numbers for the day. One under thru 13.
2:46 p.m.: A little left of the target, but his distance control was perfect with that long iron. Tiger will have a putt for eagle at the 13th.
2:39 p.m.: Tiger slings a nice 3-wood into the fairway on the 13th. He should be able to reach from there, should he choose to go for the green.
2:37 p.m.: A nice clean-up from Tiger secures his par, and he remains even as he moves on to No. 13.
2:33 p.m.: Tiger hits a nice lag to near gimme length. Should be a no-problem par.
2:27 p.m.: It’s quite a scene on 12. The galleries are absolutely packed, and Tiger is first on the tee. The hole is playing 155 yards today, and Tiger fires his 8-iron safely on the green.
2:25 p.m.: He drains another one! Tiger’s short game is working hard. He remains even on the day as he approaches the picturesque par-3 12th amidst a rousing round of applause.
2:20 p.m.: A fine bump-and-run from Tiger leaves him with another short-range par save. Looks like about five feet.
2:15 p.m.: Tiger his a nice second shot, just short of the green. It’s a nice leave, and should be an easy up-and-down.
2:08 p.m.: Tiger finds the generous fairway at the newly-lengthened 11th hole. Now, it’s all about the second shot: the start of Amen Corner.
2:04 p.m.: Meanwhile. Scottie Schefffler just joined the top of the leaderboard with back-to-back birdies on 8 and 9. He’s now part of a logjam at 2 under that includes five other players.
2:00 p.m.: Clutch putting on display from Tiger as he saves par yet again on a slippery short one.
1:54 p.m.: Tiger hits a nice recovery chip, but is left with a nervy four-footer to save par.
1:51 p.m.: Tiger has 178 to the hole. He hits a beautiful shot, but again, the spin bites him, and he rolls about 20 yards off the front of the green.
1:44 p.m.: Tiger’s roasts his drive on 10, bounding past his playing partners Niemann and Oosthuizen. Back nine, game on!
1:42 p.m.: Here’s a look at Niemann’s epic hole-out on 9:
1:40 p.m.: Tiger drains his par putt to remain even through nine. He’s three shots back and currently T14.
1:37 p.m.: Joaquin Niemann holes out from the fairway! His 2 on No. 9 brings him to 3 under and the outright lead! Meanwhile, Tiger’s chip runs long and now he’ll be fighting to save par once more.
1:34 p.m.: Tiger is in the pine straw but looks like he has an opening to the green. He executes a nice low draw but though the ball makes the green it runs off the front and down the slope.
1:28 p.m.: Tiger’s tee shot on 9 ends up in the gallery on the left. And even more troubling: looks like he grabbed his back a bit on the follow-through.
1:25 p.m.: Meanwhile, Japan’s Takumi Kanaya birdies his first two holes to take the solo lead.
1:23 p.m.: The first crack in Tiger’s armor: he misses his par save and settles for bogey. Now he’s back to even par, two shot off the lead.
1:20 p.m.: Tiger’s fourth shot runs away from him a bit, and now he’s left with 10 feet to save par.
1:18 p.m.: Tiger’s third shot is not his best. It lands just short of the green and check up instead of forward. Now he’ll need to make something from off the green for birdie, or execute a tidy up-and-down to save par.
1:13 p.m.: Tiger’s drive went 280 yards, he has 269 yards remaining on his blind second shot. It was a lengthy wait for the green to clear. He ends up short and right, but safe.
1:02 p.m.: Tiger splits the fairway on the par-5 8th.
12:56 p.m.: Here’s a look at Tiger’s epic birdie on 6.
12:51 p.m.: WOW! Tiger picthes it to tap-in range. What a shot!
12:50 p.m.: Though Niemann blasted his drive more than 360 yards, he ends up disappointed with his 86-yard pitch, which spins away from the hole, leaving him with 25+ feet for birdie.
12:48 p.m.: It was the first missed fairway of the day for Tiger. The seventh hole is playing tough — no birdies so far today. Tiger has 161 yards and needs to keep it low. His attempt at a big cut ends up just short of the bunker in front of the green. Now he’ll need a stellar up-and-down to save par.
12:42 p.m.: Tiger’s tee shot on No. 7 gets a terrible bounce on the right side of the fairway and bounces into the gallery.
12:40 p.m.: And Tiger makes it official, rolling in his two-footer for his first birdie of the 2022 Masters at the 6th hole. Woods is now one under, and one of only six players currently under par.
12:37 p.m.: Oosthuizen pours in a long birdie putt at 6 for a to get one shot back from his double at 5. Niemann can’t do the same and settles for par.
12:33 p.m.: Woods’ group is facing the second par-3 of the day at the 6th. Tiger goes first and nearly makes a hole-in-one, with his ball hopping once then stopping a two feet short of the cup.
12:26 p.m.: Tiger starts walking in his 10-foot birdie putt at the 5th, then stops in his tracks as his ball falls into the hole then pops back out. It’s going to be another par for Tiger. Oosthuizen makes a mess of things and ends up with a double bogey to fall to two over. Niemann makes par to remain at one under.
12:18 p.m.: From 218 yards at the par-4 5th, Tiger hits a dagger of a long iron that lands right next to the hole and spins a few feet away. He’ll have a great look at his first birdie of the day. Niemann and Oosthuizen fail to reach the green.
12:11 p.m.: Tiger has driver back in his hands at the 5th, and he smashes a good one down the middle of the fairway. His swing looks solid so far.
12:07 p.m.: Tiger makes a good effort with his lengthy, uphill birdie putt at 4, but comes up a foot-and-half short. No worries, because he confidently rolls in his fourth-straight par. Oosthuizen does too, while Niemann makes another birdie to move to one under.
12:00 p.m.: Tiger’s tee shot at the long par-3 4th is on a good line but comes up short of the hole, stopping on the front of the green and leaving him with a long birdie try. Oosthuizen follows and ends up right next to Tiger’s ball. But Niemann, who had the honors, topped them all, sticking his tee shot to 6 feet.
11:55 a.m.: Tiger cleans up what’s left for another par at the 3rd to remain at even to start the tournament. Oosthuizen does the same, but Niemann makes birdie to move back to even par.
11:52 a.m.: Tiger fails to put enough oomph in his birdie putt from off the 3rd green, which gets slowed down by the fringe and comes up a couple of feet short. He’ll have a knee-knocker left for par.
11:49 a.m.: Tiger has 135 yards left for his approach at the 3rd. He hits a high pitch that lands level with the hole, but just off the edge of the green, 15 feet away from the cup.
11:44 a.m.: At the short par-4 3rd, which is playing 350 yards today, Tiger and Louis lay up with irons in the fairway. Niemann takes the big stick and nearly reaches the green.
11:40 a.m.: After taking his time to discuss the read on his uphill 17-foot birdie putt with caddie Joe LaCava, Tiger nearly sinks another one, burning the edge and leading to a tap-in for his second-straight par to start the round. Niemann and Oosthuizen follow with pars of their own at No. 2.
11:35 a.m.: Facing a 50-yard chip to a pin tucked into the front left side of the 2nd green, Tiger hits a low chip shot that’s right on line but checks up well short of the hole. He’ll have a long look at birdie.
11:29 a.m.: With 312 yards to go on the par-5, Tiger smashes a wood that lands short and right of the front-right greenside bunker. He’s in perfect position to try and chip his third close for a birdie try.
11:23 a.m.: At the par-5 2nd, Tiger opts for a 3-wood and hits a nice shot down the right side of the fairway, well short of the right fairway bunker.
11:20 a.m.: Oosthuizen putts first and nearly drains a long birdie before tapping in for par. Niemann burns the edge with a mid-range par putt and settles for an opening bogey. Tiger plays last and drains his par putt from outside 10 feet! That’s a huge par-saver to start his most recent comeback. Onto the 2nd.
11:16 a.m.: With his third shot from in front of the green, Tiger hits a low chip that trundles up the swale on top of which rests the hole. He’ll have about 10 feet left for par.
11:12: a.m.: Tiger lucks out when his drive ends up just short and right of the fairway bunker that guards the dogleg on 1. From 175 yards, he hits an iron that lands on the front of the green before rolling back into the front fringe. With the pin back, he’ll have a tough up-and-down from there. Oosthuizen is safely on the green, while Niemann lays up from the fairway bunker.
11:05 a.m.: Tiger — decked out in a pink mock collar Nike shirt, black pants, black hat and black shoes — has the honors, and loses his tee shot to the right. It’s official, Tiger is back.
11:01 a.m.: Tiger and his playing partners Louis Oosthuizen and Joaquin Niemann are on the tee…
10:44 a.m.: Just 20 minutes to go until Tiger Woods officially makes his return to pro golf on the 1st tee at Augusta National.
10:10 a.m.: ICYMI, before any of the competitors started their rounds today, Tom Watson joined Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus for the first time to hit the ceremonial opening tee shots, which you can watch below.
10:05 a.m.: In the early-going on Masters Thursday, three-time major champion Padraig Harrington is among the leaders at one under. The 50-year-old Irishman’s best results at the Masters are two T5 finishes in 2002 and 2008.
8:35 a.m.: Tee balls are away and the 86th Masters has officially begun.
7:15 a.m.: Due to thunderstorms in the area this morning, ANGC has delayed opening the gates by 30 minutes. honorary starters now at 8:15 a.m. with the first tee times at 8:30 a.m.. Tiger will go off at 11:04 a.m.