AUGUSTA, Ga. – Compared to the last time Gary Woodland toured Augusta National in 85 strokes, Thursday’s 70 was every bit a new chapter.
In 2012 Woodland ballooned to an 85 in Round 3 and withdrew with a left wrist injury.
“It was nice to get back here after what happened a couple of years ago. I'm a different golfer than I was then, too,” said Woodland, who was two off the early Masters lead. “I'm confident. I'm healthy.”
Woodland’s 70 was his best round at Augusta National since his opening-day 69 in his maiden trip around the course in 2011 and he gave much of the credit to veteran caddie Tony Navarro, who has looped for numerous players at the Masters including Greg Norman.
“Tony gives me added confidence here,” Woodland said. “He has dialed me back here a little and I’m playing a little more conservative.”
But that conservative game plan only goes so far with a player with Woodland’s length. The two-time PGA Tour winner played the par 5s in 3 under par.