Woods clears first Masters hurdle, now faces ultimate test, Latest Golf News - The New Paper

Woods clears first Masters hurdle, now faces ultimate test

AUGUSTA, Georgia – Tiger Woods had played just 24 holes this year coming into the opening round of the Masters and the 15-time major winner will put his battered body to the ultimate test on Friday when he will have to play nearly as many holes in a single day.

Looking to make a Masters record 24th consecutive cut, Woods got his quest off to a solid if unspectacular start on Thursday, scrapping his way to one-under par through 13 holes before play was halted due to darkness.

The 48-year-old will play the remaining five holes from his opening round before going straight into another 18 for his second round on one of golf's most challenging layouts.

Woods, who returned to golf after a near fatal car crash in 2021 almost resulted in the amputation of his right leg, said his body was holding up fine.

"The body is OK, we've got some work to do yet tonight," said Woods, who also underwent ankle surgery last year.

"It was nice to finish up 13.

"We're going to warm up and just kind of head down there and start our round, and I think the flow would be pretty much almost like between 20 and 30 minutes in between rounds, so it'll be a natural flow from the finish of the first round and continuation of the second."

With storms delaying the start of the year's first major by 2-1/2 hours, rainy and gusty conditions would not have favoured Woods, but by the time he headed out in the afternoon with Max Homa and Jason Day the sun had returned along with the heat.

The former world number one got his round off to the best possible start with a birdie at the first hole, something he had only done once before in 1999.

"I don't remember the other time, to be honest with you," said Woods. "I hit a nice three-wood off of one, hit a nice little eight-iron in there about 10, 12 feet and made the putt."

Bryson DeChambeau leads the Masters after posting a seven-under 65 in the opening round. – REUTERS

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