Tiger Woods, the greatest golfer of our time, has officially returned to competition and the Masters Tournament, the site of some of his most amazing accomplishments.
Perhaps none were as remarkable as simply playing 18 holes on Thursday, nearly 14 months after his devastating single-vehicle crash. And although Woods didn’t take the lead or break a record, he managed to shoot a 71 under par and found himself tied for 10th, four shots ahead of Sungjae Im. It was a more than decent round in almost every way.
But on Friday, he has to start again. The bigger question is whether the long walk – five and a half hours standing – will have made his leg injury worse. On Thursday, Woods limited his squats to line up putts and appeared to wince when he misstepped.
“The walk is not easy; it’s hard, he says. “It’s going to be difficult for the rest of my life. It’s like that, but I’m able to do it. He expected to freeze overnight, he said.
As for his game, he found the trees more often than he would have liked on the tee shots and failed several times on his approaches. A nice bet bailed him out, but improvement in both areas would be welcome.
Still, it seems indisputable that Woods didn’t hurt his chances of winning. The bettors agreed, bumping his price from 50-1 to 40-1.
Woods kicks off at 1:41 p.m. EST with the same playing partners, Louis Oosthuizen and Joaquin Niemann. TV coverage begins at 3 p.m. on ESPN in the US and on TSN in Canada. Streaming is available all day on ESPN+, Paramount+ and Masters.com.
While Woods fans will be watching for areas of concern, they’re also hoping for and relishing in moments of greatness. On Thursday, at the par-3 sixth, Woods drilled his tee shot three feet away, and his birdie brought him within a shot of the first lead.
The roar of the crowd and the standing ovation he received at the end of the day on the 18th, along with the crowd following his every move, was a reminder that Tigermania is ready to explode again if it happens. occasionally.