Posted April. 10, 2010 06:15,
Tiger Woods yesterday returned from a five-month layoff from golf in style, shooting a four under-68 for the first time in the opening round of the Masters yesterday.
He also had two eagles another personal best in the first PGA major of the season.
Finishing two strokes behind leader Fred Couples, Woods rekindled hope for his fifth green jacket. The five months he spent away from the green seemed like just a number.
"I would think that a couple under par would have been probably a pretty good start, he said. "It was unbelievable all day. I haven`t heard (the fans) cheer this loud in all my years here. If I putted well today, it could have been a really special round."
No mishaps or fan jeers occurred at Augusta, Georgia. Two light planes flew over with words ridiculing Woods but drew little attention.
Amid a welcoming atmosphere for his return, Woods showed he still had a strong game with explosive long shots. He shot his first eagle on the eighth hole (par five) and a birdie on the ninth (par four).
When his tee shot was blocked by a tree, he sank a birdie after hitting the ball with an intentional hook to bend it nearly 15 yards to the left, sending it skidding to a stop just 3.6 meters above the hole.
On the 15th hole (par five), Woods scored another eagle with a 3.4-meter putt. He had 31 putts and missed five birdie putts, however.
When paired with Woods, other players tend to perform poorly because of the psychological burden but not yesterday. Woods softened attitude and the favorable fan response helped Korean K.J. Choi to a career-best first-round score of five under-67. Woods also seemed friendly with Choi, exchanging jokes in Korean.