Tiger Woods’ Thursday At The Masters: Every Hole Revisited

Masters, Tiger Woods,(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Masters, Tiger Woods,(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

All eyes were on Tiger Woods Thursday at Augusta National, as the entire golf world gathered around to get a glimpse of the legend’s return to The Masters. Nobody quite knew what to expect when the 46-year-old teed off for his first round of 2022, and the gallery was out in full force to witness history.

Outside of a tough 10-foot putt on one, Tiger’s first four holes were more or less stress-free pars. Course management was the name of the game early as he slowly became reacquainted with the course, and few have more knowledge of Augusta than Tiger Woods. He spun the ball back off the front of the green on hole four, in what would be his most common miss of the day.

His first aggressive swing off the tee came on hole five, and a 287-yard drive left him in prime fairway position. Then from 218 out, he hit a beautiful baby draw that landed 15 feet from the pin. His putt looked good all the way, but the golf world collectively gasped and groaned as what would have been Tiger’s first birdie of the day dramatically spun around the hole, and lipped out. He would tap in for his fifth straight par to start the tournament.

Tiger Woods nearly recorded a hole in one on the 6th hole

The fireworks began on the sixth hole, as Tiger sent Augusta National into a frenzy with a near ace. His beautiful iron shot never left the pin, taking a big hop before rolling right up in front of the hole. A tap-in birdie from less than a yard finally put Tiger into the red numbers, and it finally looked like he was starting to warm up.

Tiger saw his first real trouble of the day on the 7th as he pushed his iron shot off the tee. The ball took a bad bounce and ended up fairly deep in the trees resting in the pine straw. Tiger escaped by shaping a beautiful low cut out of the trees, leaving the ball short of the front greenside bunker. He hit his first great wedge shot of the day from there, pitching the ball high over the bunker. It landed on the green softly, checked up, and rolled out to tap-in distance for a fantastic par save.

Woods’ first bogey of the day came on eight after a subpar pitch shot, and a missed putt left him dropping a stroke on a par five, something tour pros never like to do. The scariest moment of the day, however, came on hole number nine.

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Tiger hooked his ball off the tee, finishing his swing with only one hand before grabbing his back. For a moment there, everyone feared the worst. Even before his car accident, fans were well versed in Tiger’s back issues. Thankfully, he seemed to be ok, recovered quickly, and didn’t show any signs of pain the rest of the day. It was an important moment, however, and should definitely be noted going forward.

Another shot off the pine straw led to another ball rolling off the front of the green, and an underwhelming chip left a tough 10 footer for par. No stranger to pressure, Tiger buried the difficult putt for a clutch par save, finishing the front nine even, with one birdie, one bogey, and two ten-foot par saves under his belt.

Tiger Woods entered the turn at even-par

Continuing his trend for the day, Tiger’s approach shot from 178 yards spun back off the front of the green on 10. His chip was a bit strong and rolled past the hole leading to a slippery four-foot downhill putt. Yet again unfazed, his putting stroke looked clinical as he saved another tough par by nailing the putt.

The 11th was a lesson in course management and creativity. While in his past he’d surely be thinking about this green in two, Tiger left his approach short of the green, taking the water completely out of play. He then hit a fantastic bump and run shot with a short iron, a shot that we covered him practicing during his Monday range session. The low runner set up a par putt that he confidently stroked, and sank with speed.

After a stress-free par on 12, Tiger shaped a beautiful 3 wood off the tee on the par 5 13th. He took advantage of the great position by reaching the green with his second shot, and two-putting for his second birdie of the day.

We heard our first angry “Oh Tiger!” of the day from the superstar on 14 as his drive hooked low and left, back into the pine straw once again. He had to take an aggressive full swing to clear the trees and put the ball just over the back of the green. He was unable to get up and down from there, as his second bogey quickly followed birdie number two.

Tiger Woods found himself back amongst the gallery on 15 and somehow was able to go from a sand-covered ball on a trampled lie, to the center of the green. He’d two-putt for par, missing another opportunity to score on a par 5.

Tiger played it safe off the tee on the par 3 16th, landing the ball far from the water and 29 feet from the hole. What came next led to the biggest roar from the crowd since the near ace back on hole six. In what looked like a flashback to his glory days, Tiger rolled the 29-foot putt with perfect speed, as it swung right to left and caught the left edge of the hole. He held out a long fist pump as the ball dropped into the bottom of the hole, and the crowd went absolutely wild.

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After a back nine full of ups and downs, a stress-free par on 17 was a welcome change for Tiger Woods. Another pull off the tee on 18 quickly put him back into trouble though as his ball looked to be sitting in some water that had collected in a low spot. He was awarded free relief and advanced his ball short of the green. A fantastic wedge shot left him with one last 10-footer, which he buried for par to finish the round.

When the dust settled, Tiger Woods finished his first round back at Augusta with three birdies and two bogeys. There were definitely more positives than negatives for Tiger Woods fans to take away from Thursday, and he currently looks to be in good shape to make the cut – and possibly even compete for another green jacket this weekend.