Woods took 30 putts in his opening round Thursday at Augusta. (Ehrmann/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods' resumed his pursuit of a 15th career major championship Thursday.
But there's another number that's just as important to him at Augusta National. Three of the four times he's won here, Woods opened with a 70.
In the opening round of the 77th Masters, Woods shot 70.
"It's a good start," Woods said. "I hit the ball very solid today and lag putted pretty good today and I made a few here and there.
"Some years some guys shoot 65 starting out here. But right now I'm only four back and I'm right there."
The keyword in that sentence being "a few" -- on a windless day and soft golf course on which several players put up a low numbers, Woods wasn't one of them.
He at times look frustrated with his iron play and seemed to have difficult gauging the speed of the greens.
"I thought the greens were a little bit tough in the sense that they just didn't have the sheen to them," he said. "They didn't have the roll out. A couple of putts, we were talking about it in our group, that just weren't that fast."
But Woods also didn't shoot himself out of the tournament. He knows it can't be won on the first day, but it can be lost.
Woods made three birdies and just one bogey after, hitting nine fairways and 13 greens in regulation. He called it a "solid day," but also needed 30 putts, which is more than he's taken in some of his recent performances with three wins in his four stroke-play starts on the PGA TOUR this season.
The four-time Masters winner started out with five straight pars before birdies on the par-3 sixth and par-5 eighth. He added another on the par-5 13th.
But he also missed opportunities -- he three-putter the 14th for bogey and managed only par on the par-5 15th, where Woods missed the green after a massive drive and couldn't get up-and-down.
There were earlier misses, too. Woods failed to hit it close on the second or third holes despite having a wedge in his hands.
Woods came into the week playing as well as he has in years. He hasn't won here, however, since 2005.