Augusta (AP)— Tiger Woods put aside the strife in his personal life to
shoot his best ever opening round at the U.S. Masters on Thursday,
two shots behind surprise first-round leader Fred Couples.
Coming back from a five-month layoff, his marriage and reputation
by revelations of serial infidelity, the world’s greatest golfer stepped
the first tee at Augusta National and picked up where he left off.
He hit a booming shot down the right side of the fairway—“one of the
drives I’ve ever seen him hit,” swing coach Hank Haney said—and it
if Woods had never been away.
By the third hole of the Masters, he had a birdie on his card. Five
later, he rolled in an eagle and broke out that patented fist pump for
Then at No. 9 came a signature shot—a 5-iron hooked around the pine
a line drive that skidded to a stop just above the hole to set up an
“I got into the flow of the round early,” Woods said after his
68. “Got into the rhythm of just playing, making shots, thinking my way
the golf course.”
“I was just pretty calm all day. I felt this is what I can do. This
I know I can do. Just go out there and just play. I expected to go out
shoot something under par.”
Woods made another eagle at the 15th—the first time he’s ever had two
those in a single round at Augusta.