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Masters Day 1: Tiger Woods returned, with every one other accompanied by order was restored

Masters Day 1: Tiger Woods returned, with every one other accompanied by order was restored

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Of all the 6,576 shots that were officially struck at Augusta National on Day 1 of the Masters, only one truthfully mattered.

It didn't go inside the hole. It wasn't down the center of the fairway. Nothing exceptional concerning it at all, really.

Except for the fact that it was off a club swung by Tiger Woods.

With his opening tee report at 11:04 a.m. Thursday, the Masters was truthfully spine to normal. The filled allotment of patrons was crammed into Augusta National to watch a competition circular the earliest hour dated since the pre-pandemic days of 2019, the year inside which Woods won the most recent of his five greenish jackets. They watched a male who could have lost a lower limb — or his existence — inside a automobile crash 15 months ago return to the spot of his past glory, with every one other accompanied by albeit moving maybe a small portion additional slowly than he used to, pursue glory again.

"If you would have seen how my lower limb looked to where it's at now ... to obtain from there to here, it was no indeed uncomplicated task," Woods said.

The scorecard said Woods report a 1-under 71 on Thursday. That's fundamentally signify for Woods at Augusta National; literally, his career signify inside 91 competition rounds at the place is 70.9. It is uncomplicated for nobody, not flat champions, not flat five-time champions, mainly five-time champions who needed rods with every one other accompanied by screws with every one other accompanied by pins a little over a year ago to reassemble a just lower limb with every one other accompanied by just foot that were mangled inside a automobile crash. Yet Woods answered the chime with every one other accompanied by at that hour dated some Thursday, inside all likelihood surprising some by playing at all, surprising flat additional by looking exist fond of someone who could contend.

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"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 exist intelligent to compete, it's phenomenal," Woods' longtime friend with every one other accompanied by incoming U.S. Ryder Cup leader Zach Johnson said. "Now, it's too a circumstances where you're talking concerning an individual that, I mean, are we really that surprised? ... He's the finest player I've at some time played with, with every one other accompanied by I speak that inside all aspects. He is the finest competitor I've at some time witnessed."

Sungjae Im was the earliest circular leader, shooting a 5-under 67. Cameron Smith was second, one report spine accompanied by a 68, with every one other accompanied by quartet players — Danny Willett, Joaquin Niemann, world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler with every one other accompanied by past Masters champion Dustin Johnson — were all set of two shots off the step following rounds of 3-under 69.

Dustin Johnson won his Masters inside 2020. Im with every one other accompanied by Smith tied for following that year. Thursday, the trio were all on the earliest page of the leaderboard again, the order slightly adjusted.

"Yes, there is a coincidence there somewhere," Im said, his cerebrum drifting spine to that moment.

Ah, nostalgia. No place does it better than the open-air museum of golf that is Augusta National.

The day started accompanied by a incline to tradition, of course: Gary Player with every one other accompanied by Jack Nicklaus extended their sprint while honorary starters for the tournament, joined this hour dated by Tom Watson for the ceremonial tee balls off the earliest tee.

They were all at the Masters Club dinner earlier this week, one of the numerous perks for past champions. Woods was there while well, following actuality unable to attend last year while recovering from his injuries. That was Tuesday night. On Wednesday, Woods — who said the foregoing day that he intended to amuse oneself — went into and not here of his final practice circular with every one other accompanied by decided there was no indeed need to spine out.

And on Thursday, there he was, every one step he took surrounded by thousands with every one other accompanied by thousands of people who left-hand the grounds intelligent to speak that they saw Woods' comeback round. The word "roar" strength obtain overused at Augusta National, nevertheless that's what the sound from those patrons sure seemed like.

"At the beginning I noticed that there was a a large amount of people," said Joaquin Niemann, one of Woods' playing partners Thursday down accompanied by Louis Oosthuizen. "But at that hour dated I was trying to talk to my caddie, with every one other accompanied by I couldn't hear anything that he was saying."

Woods was a lengthy way from vintage. He kept spraying tee shots off to the left. He played a few times from the pine straw. A half-dozen or so approach shots would hardly obtain to the front of the green, at that hour dated revolve spine to the fairway, Woods punctuating one of those bad breaks by shouting a profanity that an on-course microphone caught.

Thing is, he got into and not here of it. Three birdies, set of two bogeys. He gave the patrons a fist pump on No. 16 following making a 30-footer for birdie. He had nothing nevertheless smiles walking off the course. A darkness of ice baths with every one other accompanied by therapy awaited, fair to coax his body into deciding it could stroll 18 additional holes on Friday. He plays inside the afternoon, when it's supposed to exist extremely windy. A way that took concerning 3 inches of rainfall on Tuesday with every one other accompanied by Wednesday will further arid out. It's going to obtain harder. It's going to obtain tougher.

The roar was back. So were the patrons. So was Tiger Woods.

"This is only one round," Woods said. "We've got trio additional to go."

___

More AP Masters coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/the-masters

Masters Day 1: Tiger Woods returned, with every one other accompanied by order was restored

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