Tiger Woods doesn’t seem to want to give his Masters green jacket back just yet

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods waited 19 months to defend his Masters title. On Thursday, he had to wait three more hours thanks to a weather delay that hit not long after play began in the first round at Augusta National.

Tiger Woods’ defense of his Masters title will begin at 10:55 a.m., exactly 3 hours after his original tee time.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com12h ago

With a few people around him instead of the thousands who usually pack this place and watch and roar his every move, Woods looked a lot like the guy he was in April 2019 and not at all like the one he has been since golf returned from its COVID-19 hiatus.

Woods, who hasn’t finished higher than T-37 in the six events he has played since the sport came back from break, opened with a 68. It was the first time since the 2009 PGA Championship that Woods has gone bogey-free in a major, a stretch of 105 rounds. It’s the first time he has ever gone bogey-free to open the Masters.

“There was really nothing, looking back on it, that I could have done better,” Woods said.

Here’s how it happened:

No. 10: Par-4, 495 yards

Tiger Woods with an atrocious second shot into the 10th hole from the middle of the fairway — might have been a mud ball — to begin his Masters title defense. But he hits a brilliant pitch to a tricky front pin and salvages an opening par. At No. 10, you’ll take par any way you can get it.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com11h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: Even

No. 11: Par-4, 505 yards

Tiger Woods recovers from wide drive at the 11th with a great second shot that leads to an easy par. Now onto the 12th, where you can bet all the money in your pocket he will be aiming for the center of the green.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com11h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: Even

No. 12: Par-3, 155 yards

Tiger Woods makes a par at the 12th. He has navigated those three difficult holes out of the gate with three straight pars. That’s all he wanted.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com11h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: Even

No. 13: Par-5, 510 yards

Tiger Woods flirts with trouble at the par-5 13th, but his second shot sneaks over the tributary of Rae’s Creek that sits in front of the green. Two putts later, he walks away with his first birdie of the 2020 Masters.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com10h ago

Score: Birdie

Total for the day: 1 under

No. 14: Par-4, 440 yards

Tiger Woods with an all-world two-putt par at the 14th. He went across the entirety of the green to leave himself a kick-in. Now, another par 5, which means attack time.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com10h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 1 under

No. 15: Par-5, 530 yards

He probably had to work harder than he would have liked, but Tiger Woods rolls in a birdie at the par-5 15th. His round is still young, but this is exactly how he would have drawn it up before his day began. Make pars early, take advantage of the par 5s, avoid dumb mistakes.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com10h ago

Score: Birdie

Total for the day: 2 under

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Tiger Woods starts out strong at the Masters, birdieing the 13th, 15th and 16th holes.

No. 16: Par-3, 170 yards

The last time Tiger Woods played the 16th hole in competition, in last year’s final round with Michael Phelps in the gallery right behind him, he nearly had an ace. On Thursday, he almost knocked it again. He has less than a foot for another birdie to move to 3 under on his round.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com10h ago

Score: Birdie

Total for the day: 3 under

No. 17: Par-4, 440 yards

Tiger Woods narrowly misses a third consecutive birdie when his putt at 17 comes up two revolutions from tumbling into the hole. He muttered to himself as he went to tap in the par, knowing that was a good chance for another one.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com9h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 3 under

No. 18: Par-4, 465 yards

Tiger Woods came out with a plan in this first round and has executed it flawlessly over his first nine. Six pars and three birdies to open with 3-under 33. And he’s even smiling, so, yeah, he’s happy about how it’s going so far.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com9h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 3 under

No. 1: Par-4, 445 yards

It only took 10 holes for the first Tiger Woods fist pump of the Masters. He rolls in a 25-footer for birdie at the 1st hole, his 10th of the day, to move to 4 under on the round. And it’s the first time today you just imagine what this place would have sounded like with patrons after that one went in.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com9h ago

Score: Birdie

Total for the day: 4 under

No. 2: Par-5, 575 yards

It wasn’t a bogey, but it’ll feel like one. After a 350-yard drive at the par 5 second hole, Tiger Woods fails to make birdie after a loose second shot. Again, it’s par, but after that tee ball, you’re thinking birdie — or better.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com9h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 4 under

No. 3: Par-4, 350 yards

There are a lot ways to play Augusta National. Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm let it rip at the third hole; Tiger Woods hit iron off the tee. Woods settles for par after his uphill 20-footer burns the edge. Still not a blemish on the card, but his arch enemy (No. 5) is lurking.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com8h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 4 under

No. 4: Par-3, 240 yards

Tiger Woods with a pinpoint 7-iron at the fourth hole. He doesn’t make the 15-footer for birdie, but he still looks in control of his swing and game. And even though the last two putts haven’t dropped, he appears way more comfortable with that club than he has since golf returned in June.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com8h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 4 under

No. 5: Par-4, 495 yards

For the first time since Augusta National lengthened the fifth hole, Tiger Woods has made a par in the Masters. He went 0-for-4 last year during his victory, making bogey each and every day.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com8h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 4 under

No. 6: Par-3, 180 yards

Another great iron shot from Tiger Woods at the par 3 sixth hole. Couldn’t convert the putt, but he’s got to be happy with a steady diet of 15-footers for birdie.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com8h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 4 under

No. 7: Par-4, 450 yards

One of the few misses of the day for Tiger Woods, whose approach spins 60 feet away from the hole at the seventh. But, again, his speed was perfect on the lag putt and gets away with another par.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com7h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 4 under

No. 8: Par-5, 570 yards

First appearance of angry Tiger. After a good drive and solid layup at the par-5 eighth hole, he hits a terrible wedge into the green and resists to the urge to throw a club. Instead of a good look at birdie, he has to settle for a two-putt par from 40 feet. That’s two pars on the first-nine par 5s that will not sit well with him.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com7h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 4 under

No. 9: Par-4, 460 yards

Tiger Woods closed with a par to shoot 68 to begin his Masters title defense. It’s the first time he’s gone bogey-free in a major since the start of the 2009 PGA Championship, a stretch of 105 rounds.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com7h ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 4-under 68

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