Updates on Tiger Woods from Thursday at the Masters
April 07, 2022
By Staff , PGATOUR.COM
- April 07, 2022
Tiger Woods is playing the Masters | Timeline since 2021 car crash
Thursday at the 86th Masters Tournament, Tiger Woods made his long-anticipated TOUR comeback from severe leg injuries suffered in a single-car accident in February 2021, signing for a 1-under 71 that included a handful of signature Woods moments and signs that he could indeed contend throughout the week, as he suggested in his Tuesday press conference.
Woods had not competed on TOUR since the 2020 Masters (held in November), three months prior to the accident in Los Angeles after which amputation of his right leg was considered.
The five-time Masters winner made his first public appearance since the accident at the Woods-hosted Hero World Challenge in December, in which Woods did not compete. Two weeks later, he played the PNC Championship (in carts) with son Charlie, finishing runner-up.
He has now defied all reasonable expectations in making a competitive comeback on TOUR.
Read here to see how Woods' opening round unfolded at Augusta National, with hole-by-hole recaps and commentary:
Hole 18 (par 4, 465 yards): The iconic tee shot at No. 18 at Augusta National does not offer much margin for error left or right, and Woods made things difficult on himself with a pulled tee shot that got tied up in the left-hand trees and traveled only 193 yards, settling in the light rough just left of the fairway. With 270 yards remaining on his second shot, he opted to lay up down the fairway, leaving 73 yards in for his third.
Ever the showman, Woods played a masterful wedge that checked and spun to within 10 feet, as the patrons roared in appreciation. He then drained the par putt with a spring in his step.
The five-time Masters winner concluded the day by hitting exactly half of his fairways and greens, scoring in red numbers, and proving to golf fans worldwide that he was serious early-week when he opined that Masters contention existed in the realm of possibility.
1-under thru 18; 7/14 fairways hit; 9/18 greens in regulation
Hole 17 (par 4, 440 yards): Much of the early-week chatter centered around how Woods' stamina would endure as a competition round moved toward its latter stages, as he traversed Augusta National's many hills and slopes.
Woods began to answer these questions as he continued to deliver quality shots with plenty of distance, an example being his tee shot at No. 17, which traveled 297 yards and barely trickled into the right rough. He followed that with a proper approach shot to 15 feet past the hole. A routine two-putt par kept him at 1-under for the day, headed to Augusta National's demanding par-4 finishing hole.
1-under thru 17; 7/13 fairways hit; 9/17 greens in regulation
Hole 16 (par 3, 170 yards): Woods arrived at the serene 16th, the site of a crucial final-round birdie en route to his most recent Masters victory (2019), and promptly delivered another memorable moment on the water-guarded par 3.
Woods played a disciplined tee shot to the middle-right portion of the green, leaving a birdie look from just inside 30 feet. He then drained his longest putt of the day, a right-to-left 29-footer punctuated with a signature Tiger Woods fist pump.
He moved back into red figures for the day, having played Augusta National's par-3s Thursday in a cumulative 2-under.
1-under thru 16; 7/12 fairways hit; 8/16 greens in regulation
Hole 15 (par 5, 550 yards): Woods' tee shot on the renovated par 5 started right down the middle, but it caught a slope on the bounce and settled in the left-hand rough, 270 yards from the hole.
Woods opted against giving the green a go; he laid up to the left side, leaving himself 123 yards to the hole. A conservative wedge approach left him with a 31-foot birdie try, and he nestled the putt up to tap-in range, ensuring a routine par.
Woods completed Augusta National's par-5s Thursday in a cumulative even-par, with one birdie, one bogey and two pars.
Even-par thru 15; 7/12 fairways hit; 7/15 greens in regulation
Hole 14 (par 4, 440 yards): Woods faced adversity off the tee, hitting arguably his worst drive of the day so far, a low hook that beelined for the left trees and provoked a quick, 'Oh, Tiger!' quip of dismay.
His second shot provoked vintage Tiger memories; playing from the pine straw, he unleashed a towering approach that was accompanied by a recoil. The shot landed on the back fringe, just 30 feet from the hole.
As the wind picked up across Augusta National's back nine, Woods' bump-and-run birdie chip nearly fell but ran out 7 feet past the cup. The par putt was left the entire way, and Woods made bogey to fall back to even-par, quickly giving up the stroke gained on the previous hole.
Even-par thru 14; 7/11 fairways hit; 6/14 greens in regulation
Hole 13 (par 5, 510 yards): After playing the front-nine par 5s in a cumulative 1-over, Woods knew he needed to flip the script regarding par-5 performance on the second nine Thursday.
He played the signature 13th to perfection in Round 1. The hole demands a draw, and Woods drew his tee shot perfectly around the tree line, leaving 213 yards to the hole. He took a bold line on his second shot over Rae's Creek and it paid dividends, the approach landing soft on the left side of the green, inside 25 feet for eagle.
Woods' eagle try didn't have enough pace, but he tapped in for birdie to move back to red numbers for the day, having played Amen Corner in a fundamentally sound par-par-birdie.
1-under thru 13; 7/10 fairways hit; 6/13 greens in regulation
Hole 12 (par 3, 155 yards): Playing the famed par-3 for the first time in competition since making a 10 in the final round of the Masters in November 2020, Woods got some quick redemption with a routine par.
He employed a conservative line off the tee, his short iron landing on the back left portion of the green and settling 32 feet from the hole. He judged pace well on the birdie try, the ball settling inside 3 feet, and he drained the par putt to remain level par, three back of current co-leaders Danny Willett, Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im.
Even-par thru 12; 6/9 fairways hit; 5/12 greens in regulation
Hole 11 (par 4, 520 yards): The newly renovated 11th hole poses a stern challenge for the field; after a 283-yard drive up the left side, Woods faced a 242-yard approach into the green, guarded by water left.
A disciplined Woods passed the test, playing a smart second shot to 32 yards short right of the hole, taking the water out of play. He played a bump-and-run third, watching the ball bend across the right-to-left sloping green and roll out just 4 feet past the hole. He drained the par-saver to remain at even par.
Even-par thru 11; 6/9 fairways hit; 4/11 greens in regulation
Hole 10 (par 4, 495 yards): Woods began the second nine with a 302-yard bullet down the middle, drawing roars of appreciation from the patrons at the turn. He pured his second shot from 179 yards, staring it down the whole way, but after landing approximately 15 feet short left of the hole, the ball caught the false front and rolled down the slope, settling in the fairway 60 feet short.
Woods once again displayed his innate understanding of Augusta National's greens, bouncing a pitch into the fringe and watching it release gently toward the hole, settling 5 feet past. The quick-breaking par comebacker caught the right side, allowing Woods to carry momentum into Amen Corner.
Even-par thru 10; 5/8 fairways hit; 4/10 greens in regulation
First nine 36 for Tiger Woods.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 7, 2022
He's T17 at the turn. pic.twitter.com/f2gTXnZyDp
Hole 9 (par 4, 460 yards): Woods found trouble off the tee for the second time in three holes, this time overcooking a draw and finding the pine straw left of the fairway. The ball traveled 315 yards, leaving 112 yards to the hole, with branches squarely in his line.
Unable to get a clean look at the hole, Woods' approach landed on the front portion of the green but caught the false front, rolling back into the fairway. He respected the slope on his chip, the ball settling 10 feet above the hole. He then delivered a memorable moment for the patrons, pouring the par putt dead-center. He makes the turn at even-par 36.
Even-par thru 9; 4/7 fairways hit; 4/9 greens in regulation
Hole 8 (par 5, 570 yards): Woods continues to display confidence in a controlled cut off the tee, the latest example being a 280-yard tight fade down the middle on Augusta National's second of four par-5s.
With 269 yards to the hole, the five-time Masters winner employed a strategy similar to that displayed on the par-5 second, laying up to 50 yards short of the hole, safely in the fairway.
From there, though, trouble struck. Perhaps a sign of working through competitive rust, Woods caught his pitch shot heavy and the ball failed to reach the green, settling 15 yards short of the hole. His chip was substandard as well; the ball skipped and raced 9 feet past the hole. The par putt slid right of the hole, and Woods tapped in for his first bogey of the tournament.
Even-par thru 8; 4/6 fairways hit; 4/8 greens in regulation
Hole 7 (par 4, 450 yards): Woods' patented fade moved a bit too far to the right, settling in the pine straw right of the fairway, his first pine-straw excursion of the day. Unable to have a clean look at the green, he played a cautious, low hold-off cut that settled in the fairway, 30 yards short of the hole. Woods' comfort level at Augusta then moved to the forefront, as he brilliantly played a seemingly tricky pitch over a greenside bunker, the ball settling to near tap-in range. He saved par to remain in red numbers on the day.
1-under thru 7; 3/5 fairways hit; 4/7 greens in regulation
Hole 6 (par 3, 180 yards): With a bullet cut 6-iron, Woods sent a jolt of energy through the Georgia pines, the ball tracking toward the cup the entire way. The shot landed 10 feet short of the hole, bounced and settled within 3 feet of the cup. The birdie putt was true, and Woods recorded his first TOUR birdie since the 72nd hole of the 2020 Masters. He moves into red figures, one stroke back of current co-leaders Harry Higgs and Talor Gooch.
1-under thru 6; 3/4 fairways hit; 4/6 greens in regulation
Hole 5 (par 4, 495 yards): Another buttery fade off the tee, safely finding the right side of the fairway, with 216 yards uphill into the green on one of Augusta National's traditionally most difficult holes. Woods then electrified the gallery with his first highlight-reel shot of the day, pin-seeking with a tight draw, the ball tracking near the cup before catching a ridge and settling 15 feet right of the hole, leaving an uphill birdie try.
The birdie try tracked the entire way, with Woods even starting to walk the putt in. A last-minute turn to the left, though, led to a hard lip-out. The crowd gasped, and Woods tapped in for his fifth consecutive par to begin his competitive return.
Even-par thru 5; 3/4 fairways hit; 3/5 greens in regulation
Hole 4 (par 3, 240 yards): For the third consecutive full-swing approach, Woods played short of the hole. His tee shot settled on the front portion of the green, with a 40-foot birdie look up the hill. He safely two-putted for his fourth consecutive par to begin the 86th Masters.
Even-par thru 4; 2/3 fairways hit, 2/4 greens in regulation
Hole 3 (par 4, 350 yards): Woods took iron off the tee and hit a soft fade for the third consecutive hole, the ball safely finding the fairway, just short of the left bunkers. Playing to a front hole location, his wedge approach landed on the front collar and spun back onto the fringe. His birdie putt from the fringe never had enough pace; he knew it immediately, but he drained his third consecutive par with a 4-footer, left-center.
Even-par thru 3; 2/3 fairways hit; 1/3 greens in regulation
Hole 2 (par 5, 575 yards): Woods played a soft fade with a 3-wood off the tee, the ball finding the right side of the fairway, well positioned. He played his second shot with a 3-wood to the fairway short-right of the green, leaving a 50-yard pitch for his third. The 82-time TOUR winner played a safe pitch to 15 feet right of the hole, and he proceeded to two-putt for par, his birdie try just burning the edge.
Even-par thru 2; 1/2 fairways hit; 1/2 greens in regulation
Hole 1 (par 4, 445 yards): Woods took driver off the tee, but he didn't catch all of it; the ball traveled 264 yards, settling just short of the right fairway bunker. His second shot reached the front of the green but trickled back to the front fringe. Woods' short-game instincts kicked in, as he played a disciplined 33-yard chip to 10 feet short of the hole, on the proper tier, then drained the par putt right in the heart.
Even-par thru 1; 0/1 fairways hit; 0/1 greens in regulation