AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods's opening round of his first Masters in three years had a slow start, but he rallied late to make a respectable score of one over on Day 1.
When he tapped in for a final par and a 73 on the 18th hole at Augusta National, Woods was in 24th place, a much different spot than he was just an hour prior.
Woods's round took its first positive step on the 3rd hole, when he nearly drove the green and made birdie to get to one under, but bogeys on 4 and 5 dropped him back to one over at the turn. A bad drive and punch from the pines led to a bogey on 11, and a shot into the water on the par-3 12th led him to another bogey. Woods rallied with birdies on 14 and 16 to to get to one over, finishing with a pair of pars for the 73.
"I definitely didn't score as well as I played. I hit the ball a little better than my score indicates," Woods said. "As of right now, I'm only five back. This is a very bunched leaderboard and by the end of the week, I think it'll be a bit crowded."
On a course where past champions have earned an advantage of the par-5s, Woods played them in even par, with four pars. Woods will have plenty of time to ponder his Thursday round. His Friday tee time is 1:27 p.m, where he'll be in the fourth to last group of the day.