Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods in action during the first round of The Masters Image Credit: Masters Tournament

Five-time Masters champion Tiger Woods battled against the elements during the first round of the Masters Tournament, finishing on one under par after 13 holes in what he described as one of the “most tricky” rounds he has played.

The former World No.1, who is making only his second competitive start of the year, mixed birdies at the first and eighth with a bogey at the fourth to finish the day in the red before play was suspended for darkness.

Despite the blustering conditions, which made the course a lot more difficult as the day went on, Woods put on a fine performance, showcasing an array of imaginative shots to prevent him from dropping any further strokes at his beloved Augusta National.

“The wind was all over the place,” said Woods, who last won a Green Jacket in 2019.

“It was one of the most tricky days that I've ever been a part of. It was hard to get a beat not only on what direction it was going, but the intensity, and it kept switching all over the place, and then you had to - the timing was affecting putts on the greens. It was a very difficult day.”

With Woods still yet to finish his first round, he now must prepare for a marathon Friday where he will need to play 23 holes as he looks to become the first player to make 24 consecutive cuts at the first Major Championship of the season.

There were plenty of doubts coming into the tournament at whether Woods would be able to cope with walking around the hilly course following surgery on his right ankle last year, which kept him out for the majority of 2023.

Those doubts looked to be put to bed during the first day, with Woods still confidently striding the fairways as he finished his day but playing 23 holes in a single day will be a different test entirely.

Especially given the fact that Woods estimates he will only get “between 20 and 30 minutes” to recover in between rounds.

“Well, it was nice to finish up 13,” said Woods, who is currently six back from leader Bryson DeChambeau.

“We're going to warm up and just kind of head down there and start our round, and I think the flow would be pretty much almost like between 20 and 30 minutes in between rounds, so it'll be a natural flow from the finish of the first round and continuation of the second.

“The body is okay. We've got some work to do yet tonight.”