The five-time Masters champion shot one under par 71 on his opening round at Augusta, just 14 months after a high-speed car accident that made him fear his leg would be amputated.
Woods suffered life-threatening injuries when his car overturned while driving too fast in Los Angeles back in February last year, and when he discusses his opening round, it is clear that the battles he has had to go through in his recovery are still in the seat of his mind.
“I’m proud of my whole team, we worked so hard – people have no idea how hard we worked every day,” the 46-year-old said.
‘We never took a day off, and so when I first got out of bed after three months away, there were no days off.
‘There were easier days than others where my leg might not work as well that day, but we did something every single day. That led me here, to this opportunity to play in the Masters – and right now I’m only three left.
‘We have a long way to go, this is a marathon and many things can happen – the weather will change, this golf course will dry out and make it interesting. But it’s nice to get started positively. “
Woods only confirmed he was playing for The Masters on Tuesday and it’s clear his presence on the course was a welcome return as golf fans clapped and cheered for each stroke.
He endured mixed fortunes on Thursday, prompting him to start with five pars, secure birdies on the sixth, 13th and 16th, but also pick up two bogies in his first round of competition since the 2020 Masters, which was held in November.
Australia’s Cameron Smith was the early club house manager after four under 68s, but at the time of writing, Im Sung-jae led by five under with three holes left to play.
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