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Tiger Woods drops below par in remarkable Masters comeback as five-time winner turns back just 14 months after near-fatal car crash


Tiger Woods hadn’t played a competitive round of golf since the 2020 Masters – and quite a bit has happened since then.

But just 14 months after a car crash authorities admitted he was lucky to survive, the legendary golfer returned to Augusta National on Thursday.

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Woods took his hat off at the end of a historic round

Tiger Woods drops below par in remarkable Masters comeback as five-time winner turns back just 14 months after near-fatal car crash

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The Augusta crowds were only interested in one man

And, unbelievably enough, he shot one under par. Woods said he could win this week – and now everyone believes him after a logic-defying comeback.

As the morning session drew to a close, with a number of above-par big names struggling as the famous course bared its teeth, the perennial 46-year-old was just three head points at the end of his round.

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered to watch his opening tee shot, which missed the fairway, before his approach flipped off the green and his chip came ten feet short.

But the first roar of many came when Woods drained the putt for par – and that club would become a hallmark of a resilient round.

Obvious injury struggles saw him struggle from tee to green, but Woods relied on his experience – knowing where to miss – and his imperious short game to reach the sixth tee at par level.

A birdie would fall through a spectacular tee shot on six, stuffed within tap-in range, but its limitations showed on the single-par-five eighth with a messy bogey.

Tiger Woods drops below par in remarkable Masters comeback as five-time winner turns back just 14 months after near-fatal car crash

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Woods fought multiple times to get out of trouble

Tiger Woods drops below par in remarkable Masters comeback as five-time winner turns back just 14 months after near-fatal car crash

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His swing looked sharp throughout

Despite a number of practice rounds, Woods had yet to play 18 consecutive holes at the notoriously hilly Augusta.

Although he seemed to be walking comfortably throughout, there were concerns about his stamina on the back nine.

He took care of the 13th, almost making the eagle but settling for a birdie, before another capricious tee shot forced him to return that shot at the next hole.

His round threatened to fall apart at many points, but the same mental determination that somehow got Woods into this tournament, kept him there.

The highlight came on the 16th, as he so often does, when Woods made a 25-foot putt for a birdie, his fist pumping like the old days as the crowd went wild.

However, he is expected to face the worst blow of the day on the 18th, hitting his tee shot in a different postcode.

Tiger Woods drops below par in remarkable Masters comeback as five-time winner turns back just 14 months after near-fatal car crash

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Woods finished his round with three birdies and two bogeys

Tiger Woods drops below par in remarkable Masters comeback as five-time winner turns back just 14 months after near-fatal car crash

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The crowd was treated to a special day

Nonetheless, the five-time Masters winner would save par with another clutch putt, before puffing out his cheeks to score a spectacular achievement.

The mountain is yet to be climbed – Woods has always maintained that traversing 72 holes is his real challenge this week.

But if they weren’t his already, he captured the hearts and minds of the golfing world with a miraculous performance on Thursday.

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