AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods found his wide-right tee spin on a 11th, slapped his leg in offend and let out an farfetched sigh. Things looked dour on a Augusta National hole famous as White Dogwood, until unexpected they didn’t. Woods speckled a window by a timberland during a Masters, given that is what geniuses do.
They see light where obtuse players see darkness. And so, with his spin in a straw and his pitch limited by an irritating tree prong Thursday, Woods and caddie Joe LaCava regularly begged marshals to pierce congregation a protected stretch divided from Tiger’s moody plan. He afterwards motionless to conflict Amen Corner with a request of a line drive.
Woods executed a shot accurately as he envisioned it, during slightest until his spin strike a man’s chair on a approach toward a green. “God dang it,” Tiger shrieked. Several fans in a evident closeness came divided stating that Woods also said, “I told them to pierce those people.” As he headed toward his shot, Woods was listened saying, “That spin would’ve been on a f—ing green.”
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Inside Tiger Woods’ eventful outing around Amen Corner
Tiger Woods had a still spin going as he headed to a 11th tee, a start of Amen Corner. That’s where his uneventful spin took a turn.
Tiger on 73: ‘I’m behind in this championship’
Tiger Woods carded a 1-over 73 in his initial Masters spin in 3 years.”I fought tough to get it behind there, and I’m behind in this championship,” he said. “There’s a lot of holes to be played.”
Marc Guertin, a South Carolina pro during Caledonia Golf Fish Club, saw a spin strike a chair right after it scarcely strike him. Tiger’s shot, Guertin said, “had copiousness of steam on it” and might’ve even reached a green. “It was a good shot there,” Woods would contend later. “Unfortunately, people ran out and it clipped them. Otherwise, it’s usually brief right of a green, an easy up-and-down from there, where we was perplexing to leave it.”
Woods’ spook during 11 preceded what he called “a terrible golf shot” on a 12th tee, a H2O spin that led to another spook and a 3-over measure two-thirds of a approach home. “I could have simply let a spin trip divided from me,” Woods said, “but we got it back.”
And that was a beauty of this initial spin during a Masters, a initial spin of a rest of Tiger’s life. The 42-year-old Woods fought to stay in a contest usually as fiercely as a 32-year-old Woods and a 22-year-old Woods would have fought. Honestly, underneath a splendid object and blue sky, a resourcefulness of a male dressed in black was a ruin of a thing to see.
You know about a crippling pain and all a behind surgeries. You know about a degrading liaison that eventually cost him his marriage. You know about a roadside, military video that showed a irrational and overmedicated Tiger on a night he was arrested in May.
You know about Tiger’s confessed fears that his personification days were going, going, gone.
“I usually came adult here a final integrate of years usually to have food,” Woods said.
Somehow, some way, he entered a week as a betting favorite to set a Masters’ champions cooking menu subsequent spring. Woods hadn’t played a vital given 2015. He hadn’t won a vital given 2008. He hadn’t won any contest given 2013.
But his new run of good health and moving play woke adult a echoes and finished Woods a critical hazard to win his fifth immature jacket. Tiger swore he didn’t feel “jittery” entering his initial heavyweight quarrel in a prolonged time, though he’s human. This was a initial large contest he was approaching to win in forever, and his tinge and physique denunciation seemed some-more obligatory than it did when he was definitely anxious to contend on a weekend.
This wasn’t a Florida swing, after all. The stakes and expectations had dramatically changed. This was Woods’ possibility to do something during a Masters same to what a 46-year-old Jack Nicklaus did in 1986, when a universe suspicion a Golden Bear was a washed-up, golden oldie.
So it seemed a whole Augusta National gallery collected around a initial tee during 10:42 a.m. ET, when a trio of Woods, Marc Leishman and Tommy Fleetwood stepped onto a box. “Fore please,” a male in a immature coupler told a fans. “Tiger Woods, now driving.” Yes, they keep it elementary here during a Masters.
Woods sent his initial tee shot far-reaching left into a fans, nonetheless recovered for his par. He unsuccessful to birdie a dual par-5s on a front and finished a spin during 1 over before gulping down some ibuprofen. “My surgeon says to take it all day,” Woods said.
Tiger unsuccessful to birdie any of a 4 par-5s, a disproportion in his final score. But following his misadventures during Amen Corner, he birdied Nos. 14 and 16, a latter producing an aged Tiger bark in a pines on a 12-footer that forsaken by a right-side door. When he was finished on a 18th, finished sharpened his 1-over 73, Woods private his top and sloping it to a fans while mouthing his thank-yous.
“It was good to be behind out there again,” he said. “It’s good that we came out to play and know that we had a golf march in front of me.”
Though Jordan Spieth shot a 6-under 66 to take a first-round lead, this was not an easy golf march Thursday. Sergio Garcia, fortifying champ, put 5 balls in a H2O on a 15th for a record measure of 13 and a sum of 9-over 81. Woods didn’t strike it good and didn’t make any putts and didn’t do any repairs on a prolonged holes he has prolonged dominated during a Masters and still managed a 73. He’s 7 shots behind Spieth, a same Masters champ who dual years ago blew a five-shot lead with 9 holes to play. Only a dope would write off Woods with 3 rounds to go.
But in a end, this contest isn’t usually about winning and losing for Tiger, a ultimate win-or-else golfer. This year, a tour to Augusta National is some-more applicable than a final destination.
“The crowds have been incredible,” Woods said. “It’s been overwhelming this whole comeback. we got a station acclaim on a range. Coming adult to a initial tee, people come out of a hall and a putting green, they’re unequivocally into it.”
Once on a time, Woods abandoned a people and a sound and a love. He’s a some-more embraceable figure during 42, and still a viable contender with a possibility to supplement to his 14 vital titles.
To those of us who wanted to see this all-time good healthy and rival usually one some-more time, his good travel untried Thursday was a truly special thing to watch.