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Wondrous Woods Defies The Odds Yet Again

By: | Fri 08 Apr 2022

WELL, he only went and did it again. With the hype surrounding his latest astonishing comeback at fever pitch, Tiger Woods defied the odds and shot a one-under par 71 on his Masters return at Augusta - just 14 months after he nearly lost his leg in a car crash.

The American 15-time major champion only confirmed on Tuesday he planned to play in The Masters. Sungjae Im led the way with a 67, and there were a host of other world-class golfers in prime position after day one, including Cameron Smith, who shot a 68 despite opening and closing with a double bogey.

But Woods was the man everybody had turned up to see, and he didn’t let us down. 

England's Danny Willett, who earned a shock win at the Masters in 2016, and world number one Scottie Scheffler both shot 69s, as did 2020 champion Dustin Johnson.

"There is a long way to go, it is a marathon but it is nice to get off to a positive start," Woods said after playing his first competitive round in 508 days.

Woods impressed in a round which few thought they would see again. That he has been able to return to health is remarkable, let alone be able to resume a glittering career in which his total of 15 men's majors is second only to Jack Nicklaus.

In February, Woods made it clear that he thought the hilly terrain at Augusta National would come too soon in his recovery.

But as Masters week approached, speculation increased he was planning to play if he came through his practice rounds unscathed.

"I am proud of my whole team, we worked so hard," said Woods."People have no idea how hard we worked each and every day. We never took a day off."

Vast numbers watched him practice at the iconic Georgia course on Monday and the moment Woods walked out on to the first tee on Thursday was even more special.

Huge cheers greeted his name being read out as thousands gathered to watch his opening shot. Despite missing the first fairway, he holed a 10-foot putt for a par and was off and running.

Starting with five pars, he put his tee-shot on the par-three sixth to within a few feet and knocked in the birdie among more rapturous scenes.

A poor chip and putt from the side of the eighth green led to a bogey, before he moved back under par with a birdie on the par-five 13th after reaching the green in two.

More sloppiness around the 14th green led to another bogey, but a brilliant two on the par-three 16th ensured he would finish under par in his first competitive round since the 2020 Masters, which was held in November.

"I said to the guys, 'get me to this point and the adrenaline will kick in," he told Sky Sports after his round.

"I know how to play golf and how to play this golf course."

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Tags: the masters PGA Tour Masters

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