AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods is back at Augusta and it was an interesting show on Thursday.
The four-time Masters champion seemed to struggle most of the round and looked headed toward disaster when it looked like he would be 4 over through 12. But he drained a long bogey putt to only drop to 3 over. He eventually turned that momentum into a 1-over 73 that had him in the top 30 by day’s end.
Here is a shot-by-shot recap of how that 73 came about:
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Hole No. 18: Par 4, 465 yards
- OFF THE TEE (3:32 p.m. ET): This one is perfect down the middle. Boom.
- APPROACH SHOT (3:40 p.m. ET): Tiger seemed to like this one, but it goes a touch long. The ball finishes on the back fringe, about 25 feet beyond the hole. He’ll have a fast birdie putt upcoming for 72.
- AROUND THE GREEN (3:44 p.m. ET): Tiger cozies this one about a foot short of the hole and that’ll be an easy par.
- ON THE GREEN (3:46 p.m. ET): Yep, that’s a closing par. What a fight back from TW, who looked like he was heading to 4 over with six to play at one point. After that, he will take that 1-over 73 and run. He’s five back.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 1-over 73 (T-29)
Hole No. 17: Par 4, 440 yards
- OFF THE TEE (3:16 p.m. ET): This is driver and it is launched down the fairway. This one goes 300+ and this might be a wedge and a green-lighter to go for a birdie.
- APPROACH SHOT (3:26 p.m. ET): Tiger’s approach is solid, as it reaches the back part of the green. He’s on the fringe some 20 feet beyond the cup for birdie.
- ON THE GREEN (3:28 p.m. ET): That one was always right. It is good speed though and harmlessly trickles a foot right of the cup. Tiger taps in for par.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 17 (T-28)
Hole No. 16: Par 3, 172 yards
- OFF THE TEE (3:06 p.m. ET): Tiger hits a nice shot in here. This ball lands about 25 feet right of the hole and barely catches the step right-to-left slope toward the left pin, but it does. The ball ends up about 15 feet below the hole. Solid look upcoming.
- ON THE GREEN (3:13 p.m. ET): BOOM! That putt catches the right side of the cup and stays in. Another birdie, and Tiger is really salvaging this round where he hasn’t looked good and has failed to birdie a par 5.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 16 (T-28)
Hole No. 15: Par 5, 530 yards
- OFF THE TEE (2:45 p.m. ET): Yikes. Tiger comes out of that one quickly and it is way right. The ball ends up in the trees on the edge of some pinestraw. This is almost certainly a punch out to put this into wedge layup range.
- SECOND SHOT (2:51 p.m. ET): Tiger actually hits more of a full shot out of there, aiming toward the left. He puts it real left and could have a tricky shot inside 150 yards coming in.
- THIRD SHOT (2:56 p.m. ET): A solid but unremarkable approach here. From about 135 yards, Tiger let’s this one finish about 30 feet beyond (and slightly left of) the cup. He’s probably making par here.
- ON THE GREEN (3:01 p.m. ET): Tiger had that on a solid line, but it was always coming up just short and right. The ball cozies within a foot, and he taps in for par.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over thru 15 (T-48)
Hole No. 14: Par 4, 440 yards
- OFF THE TEE (2:28 p.m. ET): Tiger finds the right side of the fairway off the tee, which will give him a good look into this left pin from probably inside 175 yards.
- APPROACH SHOT (2:34 p.m. ET): Tiger had 161 yards there and that’s exactly what we’re looking for. He goes left and short of this pin and uses the slope. This ball lands probably about 15 feet left and short but takes a slope forward and right and curls about 7 feet short of the cup. That is course knowledge right there, so well executed. A great birdie look approaching.
- ON THE GREEN (2:42 p.m. ET): And we’re back in business. That one curled in on the left side, but it dropped for a much-need birdie. Tiger is now back to +2 with a par 5 upcoming.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over thru 14 (T-59)
Hole No. 13: Par 5, 510 yards
- OFF THE TEE (2:11 p.m. ET): Tiger takes out 3-wood and this one hangs on the right side. It appears to be on the edge of the fairway, maybe in the rough short of the trees. Not great position, could a lay up be coming?
- SECOND SHOT (2:15 p.m. ET): Tiger indeed was in the pinestraw. He laid up, having to play a low shot with a sawed off finish. This ball rockets into the crowd on the right. He should be fine over there, as he’ll have a wedge in and it’s wide open if the crowd isn’t there. But another troubling shot.
- THIRD SHOT (2:20 p.m. ET): HOK, nice recovery! Tiger gets aggressive, wedging right at this back-left pin and challenging going over this green (from where you’d face a brutal up and down). This ball lands about pin-high, scurries about 10 feet past the cup and stops there. A decent birdie look upcoming.
- ON THE GREEN (2:24 p.m. ET): That left-to-right putt is too high by inches. It doesn’t matter how close, though, Tiger fails to make birdie. He’s running out of holes quickly.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over thru 13 (T-66)
Hole No. 12: Par 3, 155 yards
- OFF THE TEE (1:58 p.m. ET): Oh no!! Tiger comes out of that shot and it finishes short and right of the front bunker on the bank and rolls into the water. Wow, this could be a turning point in the round if he makes double.
- THIRD SHOT (2:03 p.m. ET): He took a long time to figure out where to drop, first moving well back of the water and then dropping right before it. He pitches that one, a low shot that lands in the rough and bounces forward but stays off the green in the fringe. He’s about 20 feet left of the hole. He’ll have to drain that mid-range effort just to make bogey.
- AROUND THE GREEN (2:07 p.m. ET): This man never, ever gives up. What a bogey. Tiger drains that 20-footer for a really impressive bogey that could save his round. A double and +4 would’ve been dreadful. He’s still 3 over but now he’s got some momentum.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over thru 12 (T-63)
Hole No. 11: Par 4, 505 yards
- OFF THE TEE (1:39 p.m. ET): A driver here and that’s flailed right, into the trees. This is a “we’ll wait and see”. This depends a lot on if he has a path to the green out of there.
- APPROACH SHOT (1:48 p.m. ET): That was no good. Tiger was right of the trees but he had to punch a low draw and this one goes too far right. It goes into the gallery and Tiger probably has close to 100 yards for his third shot.
- THIRD SHOT (1:51 p.m. ET): Tiger goes at this right pin, but this one finishes about 15 feet long. Good recovery, but he’ll need that to avoid falling to 2 over.
- ON THE GREEN (1:54 p.m. ET): That was a misread. Tiger started that a few feet left and it took maybe 2/3 of the left to right break he wanted. The ball rolls harmlessly by. But that’s another bogey. he’s now five off the lead.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over thru 11 (T-48)
Hole No. 10: Par 4, 495 yards
- OFF THE TEE (1:22 p.m. ET): Probably his best 3-wood swing off the tee all day. Tiger hits a terrific low draw right down the pipe. It takes the downslope as well and is in perfect position well down the middle.
- APPROACH SHOT (1:31 p.m. ET): Well, that was unforced error Tiger may’ve gotten away with. The pin is right and Tiger floats this one dangerously right of the green. The ball lands basically a foot left of the greenside bunker and stays there. He’ll still have a tough downhill chip from the rough there, but being the bunker would’ve made this way tougher.
- AROUND THE GREEN (1:34 p.m. ET): Wow, that was some nice touch. Tiger popped that forward about a yard onto the fringe and on a line like 5 feet right of the hole. The ball then rolled and curled down about 3 feet short of the hole. Very delicate, and well done. He has a downhiller left for par, but it’s a short one to clean up.
- ON THE GREEN (1:37 p.m. ET): Yep, he strokes that right in. That would’ve been a bad bogey after that drive, so that’s an important par.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 10 (T-28)
Hole No. 9: Par 4, 460 yards
- OFF THE TEE (1:05 p.m. ET): Another driver and he does not like this one. It goes left but it gets a good kick and is harmlessly just a little left.
- APPROACH SHOT (1:12 p.m. ET): Tiger didn’t have a good angle at this left-middle pin, so he bailed out a little right and smartly. His ball finishes about 25 feet right of the pin and just below pin-high. So he’ll have 30-35 feet for birdie.
- ON THE GREEN (1:19 p.m. ET): Tiger played that one too high on the right, but it was perfect speed. So that ball comes to rest harmlessly a foot right of the hole. he taps in for par and an opening 1-over 37. Stats: 4/7 fairways, 7/9 GIR and 17 putts.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 9 (T-24)
Hole No. 8: Par 5, 570 yards
- OFF THE TEE (12:43 p.m. ET): Tiger takes out driver and this one is launched down the left-center of the fairway. That will allow him to go for this green in two!
- APPROACH SHOT (12:50 p.m. ET): From 266 yards uphill, Tiger actually took an iron, and played a low hook. A good idea but he overhooked it a bit. That ball ends up left of the green and about 40 yards from it. If he has no tree trouble, it’s a doable up and down. But we’ll see.
- AROUND THE GREEN (12:56 p.m. ET): That one was honestly pretty average. Tiger flies that one too far to stop close to the pin and it rolls 20 feet by. That’s what is left for birdie after having a chance to go at this in two.
- ON THE GREEN (12:58 p.m. ET): That was a bender from left to right that was actually closer to 30 feet. Tiger leaves that one high and allows it scoot by 4 feet. Another tester, and another job well done. TW smoothly drops that par putt.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 8 (T-22)
Hole No. 7: Par 4, 450 yards
- OFF THE TEE (12:25 p.m. ET): Tiger takes out a 3-wood and that one is good down the right side of the fairway. That’s in prime position.
- APPROACH SHOT (12:31 p.m. ET): This one from 148 yards was on target bout 30 feet long. Tiger is on the green but will have roughly 30 feet remaining for birdie.
- ON THE GREEN (12:37 p.m. ET): That was a really good roll for a long time, but no dice. That ball trickles and trickles on a great line but just stays left at the end and rolls by an inch on the left. The ball goes a few feet long, but Tiger cleans up for par.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 7 (T-18)
Hole No. 6: Par 3, 180 yards
- OFF THE TEE (12:13 p.m. ET): OK, that’s a nice bounceback. Tiger feathers in a beauty about 8 feet right of the cup. That leaves him a great birdie look.
- ON THE GREEN (12:19 p.m. ET): That was a 7-footer and it never touched the cup. A big opportunity missed there as that one was always left.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 6 (T-19)
Hole No. 5: Par 4, 455 yards
- OFF THE TEE (11:52 a.m. ET): That 3-wood off the tee is pulled. The ball heads toward that gulley before the bunkers on the left side of the fairway. Tiger might be in the fairway down there, but that would leave him a tough blind shot from below those bunkers. If he’s in a bunker, then REALLY tough.
- APPROACH SHOT (11:59 a.m. ET): Tiger was indeed in that first bunker. He actually did pretty well from there, but all he could do was get that ball to the front of the green. That leaves him an incredibly difficult two-putt from 66 feet over a humongous slope.
- ON THE GREEN (12:06 p.m. ET): Tiger runs his birdie putt about 8 feet past. Honestly, that’s not bad from there. The comebacker … NOPE. That one slides by on the left. Back-to-back bogeys for TW.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 5 (T-24)
Hole No. 4: Par 3, 240 yards
- OFF THE TEE (11:39 a.m. ET): Tiger’s tee shot … OOF. He seemed to like it, but it came up woefully short in the front bunker. That’ll be a testy one from the sand upcoming. Pin is back, so plenty of green to work with, but there’s a ridge not far in front of it.
- AROUND THE GREEN (11:44 a.m. ET): Tiger played that one a little safe, landing the ball beyond the pin and letting it trickle to 16 feet. He’ll have that to save par.
- ON THE GREEN (11:47 a.m. ET): That one was always a touch too high. That ball takes the left-to-right break but misses a few inches left and slides by. A tap-in Tiger coaxes in from there, but it’s a bogey.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 4 (T-7)
Hole No. 3: Par 4, 350 yards
- OFF THE TEE (11:18 a.m. ET): Driver again for TW. Oh and a twirl. Good reason, too, as that one ends up perfectly placed about 20 yards short of the green on the left side. The pin is front-right. So now he tries to get up and down for birdie.
- APPROACH SHOT (11:24 a.m. ET): Tiger had 17 yards to the hole after a 324-yard drive. So this was a short-game shot, really. And that’s just OK. He plays a spinny pitch that lands a few feet before the cup, slows down but rolls about 10 feet past. That left for birdie.
- ON THE GREEN (11:33 a.m. ET): LET’S. GO. Tiger walks in that quick putt, as it pours in for a birdie. That’s Tiger’s first birdie at the Masters in three years. He’s now just ONE back.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 3 (T-3)
Hole No. 2: Par 5, 575 yards
- OFF THE TEE (10:58 a.m. ET): Oh yeah, baby. Tiger goes driver and plays a beautiful draw off the right bunker and into the center of the fairway. It catches the downslope on the fairway and is WAY down there. A beautiful drive.
- APPROACH SHOT (11:06 a.m. ET): Iron for TW on the second shot from 219 yards after a 351-yard drive and he got stuck on that one. He knew it immediately and that one gets pushed into the right greenside bunker. Pin is front-left, so that is the good miss. So not a great shot, but he missed in a spot that still leaves birdie a huge possibility.
- AROUND THE GREEN (11:10 a.m. ET): Tiger blasts that bunker effort about 10 feet past the cup. Honestly, it’s not a great shot, but he can still make birdie.
- ON THE GREEN (11:15 a.m. ET): Tiger’s birdie putt … JUST. MISSED. Man that was a good putt. It was a speedy one right to left and it looked like he drizzled it perfectly. But the ball seemed to not take the left break at the end and trickled over the right side of the cup. He taps in, but that’s a disappointing par.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 2 (T-4)
Hole No. 1: Par 4, 445 yards
- OFF THE TEE (10:42 a.m. ET): Tiger goes 3-wood off the tee here and WOOF. He misses that one well left into the trees. It’ll depend on his luck over there if he has a shot from over there. Not a good first tee shot.
- APPROACH SHOT (10:47 a.m. ET): TW is in the pinestraw and plays a half-punch hook out of there that rolls just to the front fringe. With a back-right pin, that’s not a bad leave!
- AROUND THE GREEN (10:53 a.m. ET): Beautiful. Tiger putts that and it’s a PERFECT lag. That one rolls inside a foot short of the cup. This will be a tap-in par. Great touch.
- ON THE GREEN (10:55 a.m. ET): Indeed, Tiger opens with par. A great escape after a poor opening drive.
- TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 1 (T-2)
Tiger is on the first tee. GET. PUMPED.
Tiger Woods is on the range at Augusta!! His tee time is 10:42 a.m. ET.