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Tiger Woods finished the first round of the Masters shooting a 71 and finishing 1 under par for the course.
Woods has saved par 13 times, had three birdies and bogeyed twice in his first full round at a major event in about 17 months. As he walked to the green on the 18th hole, he received a large standing ovation.
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Woods completed the 18th hole with a par. He shot a 36 on the front nine and a 35 on the back nine.
The legendary golfer trotted to the first tee to the roar of the crowd at Augusta National Golf Course. He announced that he plans to participate in the tournament on Tuesday. But there was always that chance that he was still suffering from devastating leg injuries sustained in a car accident in 2021.
Woods had shades of his old self with birdies on the sixth, 13th and 16th holes. He pumped for the first time after birdieing on the 16th.
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He appeared to be within striking distance of the leaders as he finished. Cameron Smith, Danny Willett, Sungjae Im and Woods teammate Joaquin Niemann were among the leaders he concluded.
Woods was asked on Tuesday if he thinks he can win this weekend.
His simple answer: “Yes.”
He added: “I can hit very well. I have no qualms about what I can do physically from a golf perspective. The walk is the hardest part. It’s not normally an easy walk for start. Now, given the conditions that my leg is in, it gets even harder. Seventy-two holes, it’s a long road and it’s going to be a tough challenge. And a challenge that I’m ready for.”
Jack Nicklaus voiced his support for Woods’ return earlier in the week.
“Glad to hear that Tiger is going to try his luck at the Masters,” Nicklaus’ statement read. “Considering where his life was 17 months ago, that’s an incredible feat. It only reinforces the drive, passion and work ethic that Tiger has always possessed. And know that even though he’s in a different place in his life, Tiger wouldn’t. if he didn’t think he could compete and win.”
He continued: “Tiger knows this golf course like the back of his hand and in 2019 once in position he remembered how to win. If his body holds up could he do it again?”
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Woods last competed in an event in 2021 at the PNC Championship with his son, Charlie.