Masters: Good start for Tiger Woods in 1st round; Sungjae Im in command

RDS and RDS direct present the four rounds of the Masters Tournament. You can also follow the Group of the day, the driving range, the Amen Corner (holes 11, 12 and 13) as well as holes 4, 5, 6, 15 and 16 thanks to our multiplex environment.


AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods made his first tee shot at the Masters shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday morning. About five hours and 30 minutes later, he found himself in the middle of a large group of golfers who took a par shot.

Woods had a few good times, some where he was unlucky and some where he didn’t help his cause. Considering everything he’s been through for a year and a half, he certainly wasn’t going to complain.

His day in numbers can be summed up as follows this Thursday: three birdies, two bogeys and a score of 71.

Tiger’s Day

Woods’ round began precisely at 11:04 a.m., marking his return to competitive-level golf after an absence of approximately 18 months, first due to back surgery and then – and most importantly – due to a automobile accident so serious that he nearly lost one of his legs.

Dressed in a pink polo shirt and black pants, Woods shook hands with his playing partners, Louis Oosthuizen and Joaquin Niemann. He then took his wood-1 out of his bag, removed the head guard – a stuffed tiger, of course – and completed the final stages of his limbering up exercises.

Spectators lined both sides of the first hole fairway and around the tee box, hoping to witness the moment.

Of the trio of golfers, Woods was the first to comply and touched the paddle of his cap in recognition when the official announcer introduced him to the spectators, before settling behind his ball.

He didn’t look too pleased with that first tee shot, pouting as his ball headed down the right side of the fairway and into a bunker.

But Woods was back and had just started his first round at the Masters. He scored a par on the first hole and another on the next, a par-5.

After five straight pars to start his day, Woods hit his tee shot about two feet from the goal on the par-3, 180-yard sixth hole.

He stalled the short putt for his first birdie of the weekend before committing a bogey on the eighth hole after a par on the seventh green.

Woods added birdies on the 13th and 16th holes and bogeyed on the 14th for a minus-1 record.

The American completed his round with an excellent par in the 18th, after completely missing his tee shot.

Sungjae Im in command

South Korean Sungjae Im climbed to the top of the standings with a round of 67, subtracting five strokes from par. He notably made an eagle on the 13th hole.

Cameron Smith, winner of the Players Championship earlier this season, is one shot off the lead. The Aussie shot 68, despite two double bogeys, on his first and last hole of the day.

World number one Scottie Scheffler finds himself in a group of four golfers under 3 along with two former tournament champions – Dustin Johnson and Danny Willet – as well as Joaquin Niemann, who plays in the Tiger Woods trio.

Three Canadians are participating in the tournament, including Mike Weir, champion in 2003. Weir ended his day with a card of 74, two strokes over par.

Corey Conners took two shots off par and he finds himself in a good position in the standings. Mackenzie Hughes played 73.

Overnight rain forced organizers to delay the start of the first round by 30 minutes.

Meteorologists say the chances of additional precipitation for Thursday are slim, although strong winds could welcome the wave of golfers who will tee off in the afternoon.

Temperatures could cool down over the weekend, with a forecast low of around five degrees Celsius on Saturday night, an unusually low mercury in the Augusta area for this time of year.

Protocol and humor

As is customary, the tournament began with ceremonial tee-offs from three sports legends, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, for whom it was a first.

And they added a little humor to this always special moment.

Player, a three-time winner at Augusta and long a staunch proponent of good physical condition, was the first to take to the mound. Watson couldn’t help but tease the South African.

“Is he going to do a push-up? asked Watson.

“I made it while you were sleeping this morning!” “replied Player.

Nicklaus, the tournament-record six-time Green Jacket winner, followed and wondered aloud if he was going to fall while trying to put his tee on the ground!

” Yes! I succeeded! “, he then exclaimed, generating more laughter among the spectators around the mound.

Then it was Watson’s turn to comply. A two-time tournament winner – his first title was 45 years ago – Watson made a point of saying a few words.

“I would like to say how honored I am to be with Gary and Jack. I have watched this ceremony many times in the past […] and to participate in it touches me sincerely. »

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