Tiger Woods’ pursuit of a 15th major title and fifth green jacket began on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club for the 2019 Masters.
Woods entered golf’s first major of the year in good form, with four top 20 finishes in five events, including a T-5 at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He last won a major in 2008 and hasn’t won at Augusta since 2005.
Check out his round with shot-by-shot analysis below:
Hole 18: Par 4, 465 yards
OFF THE TEE: After hitting the driver so pure all day, of course he loses his final shot of the day off the tee to a bunker on the left.
APPROACH SHOT: Tiger flew this one onto the green and it just trickled off the dance floor’s edge and onto the fringe.
AROUND THE GREEN: He never really gave this birdie putt from the fringe a chance, and he rolls a few feet past the cup.
ON THE GREEN: He cleans up the par putt here and walks off the course with a 2-under 70.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2-under 70.
Hole 17: Par 4, 440 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger had been flirting with the left off the tee all day, but this one leaks a little right and into the trees.
APPROACH SHOT: The last time he had a shot from the trees he got up-and-down for a seemingly-impossible birdie. He gave this one a helicopter finish and the ball runs up just short of the green.
AROUND THE GREEN: He chips this one onto the green, but he’s short of the cup, inside 10 feet.
ON THE GREEN: He misses this one right and drops a shot.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2-under thru 17.
Hole 16: Par 3, 170 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger was pleading for this one to land softly, and for the most part it did. He landed this one just beyond the hole and it rolls a little long and left of the cup. He’ll have just outside 20 feet for a third birdie in four holes.
ON THE GREEN: Nothing to see here, just a two-putt par. Moving on.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3-under thru 16.
Hole 15: Par 5, 530 yards
OFF THE TEE: And he’s back on track with the driver as this one soars 300 yards down the left side of the fairway.
APPROACH SHOT: “Get down. Get down. Get down! Oh my God.”
Yeah … Tiger didn’t like his approach on No. 15. He airmailed this one well over the green. And no, that’s not hyperbole. He’s got 40 yards to the pin.
AROUND THE GREEN: Tiger caught this one a little fat and comes up short of the green this time. His next chip made a run at the cup but just darts by.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger just had three feet for par and cleans up to remain in the lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3-under thru 15, co-leader.
Hole 14: Par 4, 440 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger has been deadly with the driver today. Just not here. He lets out a big “fore!” call as this shot drifts left into the gallery.
APPROACH SHOT: Somehow Tiger gets this one from the trees to the green. Only Tiger. He gets this one 25 feet above the hole for a birdie putt.
ON THE GREEN: Chirp-chirp-chirp! Tiger bangs this one home to take a share of the lead with Justin Harding and playing partner Jon Rahm.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3-under thru 14.
Hole 13: Par 5, 510 yards
OFF THE TEE: YAHTZEE! Another perfect drive from Tiger here at No. 13. If he can keep swinging the big stick like this through the weekend that’s bad news bears for the field.
APPROACH SHOT: Tiger wasn’t thrilled with this approach that finds the green to the left of the pin. He’s a good 50 feet from the cup, tucked away to the right. Missing left is good, because you’re flirting with the creek if you miss right. That said, this putt won’t be easy. He’ll have to play it down a slope that should break hard to the right.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger played this one really well, but just couldn’t match the speed and the pace. He rolls this one to two feet, setting up a birdie putt that drops to get within one shot of the lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2-under thru 13.
Hole 12: Par 3, 158 yards
OFF THE TEE: Pictures and words just don’t do No. 12 justice. It truly is one of the most beautiful holes in golf. Anyway, Tiger time. Good news is he’s not in the water. Bad news is he’s not on the green. He’s in the rough behind the green, about 30 feet from the hole.
AROUND THE GREEN: Tiger puts on a clinic with wedges around these greens. He rolls this one ever-so-gently up near the cup to set up a par save. He’s probably bummed he couldn’t score here, but looking at the leaderboard, nobody is.
ON THE GREEN: Easy tap-in for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1-under thru 12.
Hole 11: Par 4, 505 yards
OFF THE TEE: Striped it. Down the middle. Boo-ya.
APPROACH SHOT: With the back-left pin guarded by water, Tiger plays this one safe and finds the right side of the green, about 40 feet away.
ON THE GREEN: This one goes long and left, but Tiger makes the comebacker for par. On to the heart of Amen Corner.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1-under thru 11.
Hole 10: Par 4, 495 yards
OFF THE TEE: He’s played No. 10 10-over in his career, but he’s in a prime spot for a birdie here after a perfect tee shot, curving right-to-left to the middle of the fairway. Tiger could’ve easily made the turn at 3-under, but nevertheless, he’s got some momentum now.
APPROACH SHOT: Tugs this one a little left. He’s on the dance floor, but a good 30-40 feet away. It’s a birdie putt, just a long one.
ON THE GREEN: Good, not great effort from there. Jon Rahm was pleading for it to get some legs but Tiger’s putt comes up short, about four feet below the cup. He definitely didn’t want to miss long and left. That putt coming back down the bottom of a slope would’ve been tricky. He rolls in the par putt. As the great theologian Jay-Z once said, on to the next.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1-under thru 10.
Hole 9: Par 4, 460 yards
OFF THE TEE: “No no no no” says Tiger as this one drifts left into the pine straw, then back into the rough.
APPROACH SHOT: Useful shot here nestles up to five feet. He’s struggled with short birdie putts so far, and could really use this one.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger played this one just outside right edge and drops the putt to make the turn below par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1-under thru 9.
Hole 8: Par 5, 570 yards
OFF THE TEE: Alright stop, hammer time. TW cranks this one 311 yards down the middle. Perfect shot.
APPROACH SHOT: He’s got 267 yards to the pin, 232 yards to the front of the green. He gave this one a ride but it goes right. He still has 40 yards to the pin from there, but this is a tricky green, especially with a back pin placement.
AROUND THE GREEN: He made this one look easy, but it was far from a stroll down Magnolia Lane. His pitch starts to check up about 15 feet short of the hole but still releases to just inside 10 feet past the cup. It doesn’t look like a phenomenal shot, but with this green, it was.
ON THE GREEN: We won’t bore you here. Two-putt par. NEXT.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 8.
Hole 7: Par 4, 450 yards
OFF THE TEE: The trend of tee shots going a little left continues here. His 3-wood found the fairway, just missing the rough. He’s got 158 left to the hole, guarded by bunkers in the front and back.
APPROACH SHOT: Tiger must have seen me play a few times, because he just did the classic Adam-Woodard-drop-the-club pose after this one. He caught all of this one and blasted it over the green and into a bunker.
AROUND THE GREEN: Not a great lie here, and Tiger does his best to get this to five feet. Good work to give himself a chance to save par.
ON THE GREEN: He gave this one a good look and drops the par putt. Crisis: avoided.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 7.
Hole 6: Par 3, 180 yards
OFF THE TEE: B-e-a-utiful shot. Tiger goes pin-seeking here at No. 6 and stuffs this one inside five feet of the back-right pin. The only way that could’ve been better is if it had gone in.
ON THE GREEN: Blown opportunity for Tiger who shanks the putt. Disappointing par.
Hole 5: Par 4, 495 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger was begging this one to go left and get down. His first misfire with the driver of the day appears to have found the fairway bunker.
APPROACH SHOT: With 203 to the green, Tiger has a decent line to the pin if he’s feeling it, which is off to the right today. Had it been tucked away left, this shot would be more difficult. That saying, it is Augusta, and Tiger’s no dummy. He plays this one safe and advances it up the fairway. He’ll have inside 80 yards to the pin to get up-and-down for par.
AROUND THE GREEN: Nifty shot here from Tiger as he cozies this one inside five feet. Not a gimmie for par, but that was solid.
ON THE GREEN: He catches the left edge and will drop a stroke. Tough bogey.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 5.
Hole 4: Par 3, 240 yards
OFF THE TEE: Solid stroke from Tiger here. He’s on the green, 25 feet left of the pin. It’s early, and a very small sample size, but Tiger’s been impressive thus far.
ON THE GREEN: Right speed, wrong line. This one never turned as much to the right as he hoped. Two-putt par. Moving on.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1-under thru 4.
Hole 3: Par 4, 350 yards
OFF THE TEE: Another driver here for Tiger and boy he is ripping the big stick today. This one is 311 yards down the left side and he’ll have a little flip wedge onto the green.
AROUND THE GREEN: Well, he really beefed this one. Tiger was trying to hit this one behind the hole then spin it back, but he got way too much of it and he’s off the green on the fringe. He chips this one to three feet. Not sure why he went with the wedge there and not the putter, but no matter, he’s close.
ON THE GREEN: Nothing to see here. Easy tap-in par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1-under thru 3.
Hole 2: Par 5, 575 yards
OFF THE TEE: Boom goes the dynamite! Another crushed drive here on No. 2 down the left side of the fairway.
APPROACH SHOT: After a 340 yard drive, Tiger only had 215 yards into the pin. He tried to turn this one right-to-left onto the green but left it a bit too far to the right and finds the bunker. In Tiger’s defense, it’s a beautiful day to go to the beach.
AROUND THE GREEN: Tiger’s got plenty of green to work with here and a pretty fair pin from his spot. There’s a slope behind the pin he can use as a backstop. But who needs a backstop when you’re Tiger Woods? He hits a beauty from the beach and almost holes it out. He’ll have a four footer for birdie.
ON THE GREEN: No doubt about that one. Tiger grooves it in for an up-and-down birdie on No. 2.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1-under thru 2.
Hole 1: Par 4, 445 yards
OFF THE TEE: Grip it. Rip it. Twirl it. Tiger opens his 2019 Masters with a beautiful tee shot down the fairway.
APPROACH SHOT: Useful approach after a 317 yard bomb down the left side of the fairway. Tiger’s second shot finds the green, short and left of the hole with a 30 foot birdie putt awaiting
ON THE GREEN: Tiger lagged this one up just short of the cup for a tap-in par. He looked really comfortable on the opening hole. We’re off and rolling.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 1.
The Big Cat was getting his work in early before his tee time.