Tiger Woods Returns to Masters for a solid First Round
POSTED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 4:02pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 3:37am
Tiger Woods played like the last five months never happened. Even more surprising, he felt that way, too.
No longer the same person after he was caught cheating on his wife, Woods looked every bit the same golfer Thursday when he opened with a 4-under 68 - his best first round ever at Augusta National - that left him only two shots behind 50-year-old Fred Couples on an extraordinary opening day at the Masters. It just didn't seem that way to Woods. Standing on the first tee, looking down a fairway lined with thousands of spectators curious to see how he would respond to a sex scandal that shocked the world, Woods didn't flinch. "It felt normal," he said. "Try to hit a little fade off the first tee, try to take something off of it and make sure I got it
in play. That was about it. From there, I just went about my business." Woods twirled his club after a good drive, slammed it after a few bad ones. He pumped his fist after making the first of two eagles and sunk to his knees when he missed a birdie putt on the 16th that slowed his climb up the leaderboard. And just like always, he complained about not making enough putts. "Otherwise, it could have been a very special round," Woods said. Yet it was special in so many ways. Couples, who played a practice round with Woods on Monday, sauntered along in tennis shoes and no socks and shot a 6-under 66, his best score ever at the Masters. Tom Watson, at 60 the oldest player in this Masters, picked up from his amazing ride in last summer's British Open with a
bogey-free 67 that left him tied with Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson, PGA champion Y.E. Yang and K.J. Choi.