Tiger Woods had a lot of ups and downs in his opening round

Plenty Of Ups, Some Downs For Tiger Woods In His First Round

Tiger Woods starts his quest for a sixth Green Jacket with a 1-under 71 in his first competitive round since a car accident 14 months ago.

There were fist pumps and violent lip outs, powerful swings and botched chip shots, periods when Tiger Woods looked as good as ever and times when he looked like a man who hadn’t competed in a tournament in 508 days.

Everything that happened on Thursday at Augusta National added up to a one-under 71 for the five-time champion, who is returning to the Masters following a near-fatal automobile tragedy just 14 months ago.

Woods has been off the circuit since the Masters in November 2020, but he has not gone unnoticed. As he came up to the tee box alongside Louis Oosthuizen and Joaquin Niemann at 11:04 a.m. ET, the attention of the large gallery of supporters was squarely on him.

Woods showed no anxiety on the first hole, as he smoothly rolled in a 10-foot putt to salvage par after letting his drive out to the right.

And this incredible comeback, maybe the most unexpected in a career filled with them, was off and running. Woods parred the opening four holes and appeared to be on his way to making his first birdie as his fifth-hole putt drifted toward the hole.

The patrons’ loud groans reverberated across Augusta National, but it lipped out. On the par-three sixth hole, he made amends with a two-foot approach. He completed the birdie attempt this time.

Woods, who was able to dominate this course 25 years ago, was hesitant to do it again. On the tee, he was willing to use a fairway wood to keep the ball in play. He hit seven of 14 fairways and averaged 271 yards off the tee.

He used a 3-wood on the par-five 13th hole and blasted a magnificent right-to-left tee shot that landed safely in the fairway. From there, he was able to hit the green and two-putt for a birdie to finish the round at one-under par.

The highlight, however, came on the 16th, when he made perhaps his most memorable shot. He played the right-to-left breaking putt flawlessly and saw it go into the center of the cup after leaving his par-three approach on the proper level but 29 feet away.

The patented fist pump, which appeared like it would never be seen at Augusta National again a year ago, was back.

However, Woods’ round was not without its flaws. He made his first bogey of the round on the par-five eighth hole, leaving his third ball short of the green and chipping nine feet past the cup.

After a massive rip from the pine straw over the green on the 14th, he ran his chip past the hole again and missed the par putt.

Tiger Woods is in a good position after 18 holes at the Masters

He later stated that he didn’t feel right warming up on the practice range, but that once he had his hands on a club again, he was right back where he belonged. Did you finish your assignment, as my father said? Have you warmed up?

Yes, yes, yes And that’s precisely what I did, “he said after his round with CBS’ Michael Eaves in Butler Cabin. Let’s just get this over with. You’re the one who knows where to put it. Carry out each shot… I’m right where I need to be for the day to wind up in the red. “

Last year, Woods suffered a devastating leg injury that left him in a hospital bed for months. His tempo was the same as it had always been, and he swung freely and smoothly.

The fact that Cameron Smith and Scottie Scheffler, the two hottest players on the planet coming into the tournament, surged to the top of the leaderboard on Thursday was barely noticed around Augusta National.

The 86th Masters’ first round was all about Tiger Woods and his return. It seemed unthinkable only a few weeks ago, as images of his damaged Genesis SUV flooded media screens in February.

But if he showed anything on Thursday, it’s that golf’s greatest champion should never be underestimated.

Follow FanSided and stay tuned to our golf hub for all of the latest news and results from the PGA Tour, the Masters, and more.