Tiger Woods had a rollercoaster of an opening round at Augusta
Not what he was hoping for.
Much of the pre-Masters buzz focused on one man: Tiger Woods. Specifically, it focused on Woods' remarkable recovery from barely being able to walk to emerging as one of the favourites to take the green jacket this week.
Writing on his website last week, Woods even went as far as to call himself 'a walking miracle.'
However, there was nothing miraculous about the way he played on Thursday. It started promisingly, too, with Woods opening with two pars before picking up a birdie on three. When his putt went in, the galleries erupted with a deafening roar. Unfortunately, such acclaim would be few and far between as Woods wilted on Augusta's testing greens.
After getting into red numbers, he immediately fell back on the fourth with a bogey. Another dropped shot arrived on the fifth and, before long, he was scrambling.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 5, 2018
He dropped another at 11 before finding the water at 12. After taking his drop and pitching onto the green, he did well to hole a 15-footer for bogey and go to +3.
Woods was really struggling with drives. After that slip-up on 12, he lost his tee shot way to the right on the inviting par-5 13th. A brilliant wedge shot for his third set up a look at birdie, but he failed to convert. He did birdie 14, though, getting him back to +2. It was a welcome surge of momentum just when he was threatening to lose touch.
He also drained his birdie putt at 16 and finished with two pars to salvage a round that looked for all the world to be getting away from him. In the end, the four-times Masters winner signed for a +1 73. Not great, but far from a disaster. Don't discount him just yet.