Surprisingly, it was Woods’ much-maligned short game that was the strongest part of his performance.
“I felt good,” he said. “I felt like I hit the ball well enough to shoot 3 under par.”
A three-putt bogey on the opening hole quickly put a damper on the buzz around Augusta National. But a birdie on the second hole kicked the interest up again.
After a bogey on No. 4, a birdie on the par-5 eighth hole got Woods back to even par again but he butchered the par-4 ninth hole and was lucky to escape that hole with only a bogey.
Woods shot even par on the back nine and made key scrambles on Nos. 10-13.
“You know, I’m still in it. I’m only nine back,” he said. “And we have a long way to go.”