Golf: Woods turns back the clock with a 70 in Masters first round

Woods hits his tee shot on the second hole during the first round. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

AUGUSTA Georgia (REUTERS) - Tiger Woods missed a couple of short putts early in the first round before charging up the leaderboard at the Masters on Thursday (April 11), at times reminding everyone of his former glories.

Fourteen years since his last Masters triumph, 14 times major winner Woods birdied the 13th and 14th holes to tie for the lead at Augusta National.

Yet a couple of poor drives down the stretch, along with a judgement error, left the four-times Masters champion to card a slightly disappointing two-under-par 70.

He was one stroke off the clubhouse lead, held by Australian Adam Scott, Spaniard Jon Rahm and South African Justin Harding.

"Played well today, hit a lot of good shots," Woods said.

"If I missed, I missed in the correct spot. I had simpler up-and-downs because of that.

"I missed a few (putts) for sure, misread a couple and hit a bad one at six. Other than that it was a good solid day."

After a two-putt birdie at the par-five 13th, Woods picked up another shot at the 14th with a typically Tigeresque effort.

He threaded his 150-yard approach shot through the Augusta pines and then sank a sharply-breaking 25-foot putt, giving an understated little fist pump as the patrons roared their approval.

When he drove down the middle at the par-five 15th, leaving less than 200 yards to the pin, it seemed likely Woods would take the outright lead.

Yet one poorly-judged shot pricked his balloon.

"Get down, down, down," he barked at his ball while it was in the air, before adding "oh my god" when he saw it overshoot the green.

The ball landed on a downslope and bounded 40 yards beyond the hole, leaving a devilishly difficult pitch shot.

The 43-year-old struck a heavy wedge shot which never had a chance of making it up the slope, prompting a wry smile.

He hit the next one close and saved par.

Later, Woods carved his drive into the trees at the par-four 17th, and though he found a nice gap for his second shot, he came up short of the green and bogeyed the hole.

Earlier, Woods missed a five-foot putt at the fifth and an even shorter one at the next. He also missed a great birdie chance at the par-five eighth.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.