It didn’t go in the hole. It wasn’t down the center of the fairway. Nothing special about it at all, really.
With his opening tee shot at 11:04 a.m. Thursday, the Masters was truly back to normal. The full allotment of patrons was crammed into Augusta National to watch a tournament round
“If you would have seen how my leg looked to where it’s at now … to get from there to here, it was no easy task,” Woods said.
The scorecard said Woods shot a 1-under 71 on Thursday. That’s basically average for Woods at Augusta National; literally, his career average in 91 tournament rounds at the place is 70.9.
“Just the fact that, one, he’s alive, considering what that accident was about. Two, that he’s made a comeback to this point to be able to compete, it’s phenomenal,” Woods’ longtime friend
Sungjae Im was the first round leader, shooting a 5-under 67. Cameron Smith was second, one shot back with a 68, and four players
Dustin Johnson won his Masters in 2020. Im and Smith tied for second that year. Thursday, the trio were all on the first page of the leaderboard again, the order slightly adjusted.
The day started with a nod to tradition, of course: Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus extended their run as honorary starters for the tournament