Tiger Woods is back at Augusta National, and we have live updates from his first round on Thursday.
The five-time Masters champion is returning from a car crash that had him in a hospital bed for three months. Woods hasn’t played a competitive round since the 2020 Masters, where he scrambled to finish T38. That tournament was held in front of an empty course in November because of COVID-19, so it has been quite awhile since we’ve seen Woods in front of the gallery in a competitive round of golf.
Tiger did play with his son Charlie in the PNC Championship last December in Orlando, but that was mostly an exhibition for the father-and-son duo. The tandem did finish second, but it was tough to use that as a gauge to see if the father was capable of playing 72 holes of top-level competitive golf.
But as Tiger himself has said, he doesn’t enter a tournament unless he thinks he can win it. We’ll see what he can do on Thursday.
Tiger’s tee time was moved back to 11:04 a.m. due to weather at Augusta. We’ll have hole-by-hole coverage when he begins his round. And we’ll put the result in unless it’s par after the hole is over.
Hole No. 1: Not exactly a perfect drive, as Tiger missed it a bit right and left it short of the fairway bunker only about 265 yards from the tee. He hit the green with his second, but it rolled off the diabolical multi-tiered putting surface.
But he did get up-and-down. And with a roar from the patrons, Woods walks to No. 2 tee.
Hole No. 2: Playing the 575-yard Par 5 as a three-shot approach isn’t something a younger or healthier Tiger would ever consider. But after two safe shots he left his third exactly where he wanted for a chip with plenty of green to work with. But he missed the chip leaving himself an 18 footer for birdie, which he pulled left. Still at even par.
Hole No. 3: It’s a short 350-yard Par 4 that a couple of the longer hitters might try and put on the green this week, but Tiger chose to leave himself a full wedge. His approach appeared to run into some wind, and firing at the flag came up short and rolled back. Below the hole with a chance for birdie from the collar, he duffed it pretty good and had a tester to save par he put in the heart.
Hole No. 4: Flowering Crab Apple is a 240-yard Par 3, and Eldrick once again leaves it well below the hole. But a decent attempt at birdie goes wide, and the short putt wasn’t an issue.
Hole No. 5: The 495-yard Par 4 saw Tiger leave himself 218 into what has played as the toughest hole so far today. But no matter, as he went flag hunting and found the shadow of the pin. A 15-foot putt was a bit unlucky, as he deserved closer.
Tiger’s on the prowl! pic.twitter.com/HmrL6907SR— Noah Schlicksup - Schlick Sports (@SchlickSports) April 7, 2022
And despite going to walk it in ... the putt lipped out. A brutal miss for par.
Hole No. 6 BIRDIE: DART! A cut-6 one-hops and stops a mere 27 inches from the cup on the 180-yard Par 3. Red figures for the guy in purple.
Hole No. 7: Trouble off the tee, as a pushed drive ends up in the pine straw. With a very tough and tiny green to reach, he hits a cut short of the greenside bunker. And his wedge was just flawless to a foot to save par.
Hole No. 8 BOGEY: Tiger split the fairway, and left himself a 50-yard wedge after his second. But the chip was bad, and he missed an eight-footer to save par. The first bad number of the day.
Hole No. 9: Another poor tee shot forces a chip, and a testy downhill putt from about 10 feet goes right in the cup. A really nice save after a poor hole.
Tiger makes the turn at even par.
Hole No. 10: After a great tee shot on the 495-yard Par 4, Tiger again came up short with his approach from just over 170 yards. A chip went past the hole, setting up a tough four-footer that was on glass, but he holed it for another nice save.
Hole No. 11: The massively long start to Amen Corner played like the four-shot hole it is. Quality drive, second into space, chip to four feet, makes the putt. This is just steady, grinding golf from Tiger, who should start to see more birdie opportunities on the finishing holes.
Hole No. 12: The gorgeous Par 3 was protected today with a middle pin that only gave nine yards of room between bunker and azaleas. So Tiger took the smart path, played it to the left of the hole, and left himself a short putt for par.
Hole No. 13 BIRDIE: That’s how you play the Par 5’s at Augusta. Rip the drive, and then stick this approach like velcro. Two putts from here to get back in red figures at -1.
Hole No. 14 BOGEY: The inability to withstand prosperity. A pretty easy up-and-down goes awry as it looked like Woods was trying to make the come backer from off the green beyond the hole. It left him an eight-foot-or-so tester uphill. But he failed this test after making several like it today.
Hole No. 15: A duffed layup forced the gallery to make a hole for his approach towards the green. It left him a long putt, which was tapped in without issue. This hole is much longer than in past years, so a par here doesn’t feel as bad as it has in the past.
Hole No. 16 BIRDIE: A good iron to the correct level of the green, which had a back right pin location. It left him what appeared to be a smidge under 30 feet, and has he has done so many times before, he rolled it in on the last Par 3 on the course. A great shot to get back to -1. Now can he close it out in red figures is the question.
Hole No. 17: A perfect drive and an approach just to the right of the crowned green left a 20+ footer for birdie. But it missed just to the high side while the wind picked up, and a par heading to the last.
Hole No. 18: The tee shot chute for players has been made even tougher this year, and Woods was a victim hitting the trees on the left hand side. It left him over 300 yards from the front edge on the Par 4, so he laid up and stuck it to about six feet. And of course he made the putt.
Tiger Woods finishes at -1 71 for his first round back at The Masters.