Masters: Tiger Woods shoots 70, sits four back of leader
Tiger Woods shot a 2-under 70 on Thursday at the Masters, which means he's exactly where he wants to be.
Woods had a bogey-free 34 on the first nine with birdies on Nos. 6 and 8. Then he birdied No. 13 with a great lag putt to get within three of the lead before bogeying No. 14 and parring in.
Here's his scorecard:
Here's what Woods told ESPN after his round:
"I played solidly today and got a good round out of it."
He also talked about his putting:
"I thought I putted well today. I left myself some pretty good little par saves and was able to make those. I was very satisfied today."
And on what he expects the rest of the week:
"We got a long way to go. This golf course can change dramatically by tomorrow."
You might not believe this, but 2 under is exactly where Woods likes to be after the first round at Augusta.
He might not tell you that, but the statistics do.
Consider that in Woods' four wins at Augusta his first rounds have looked like this (number that he trailed leaders by in parentheses):
1997 -- 70 (trailed by three)
2001 -- 70 (trailed by five)
2002 -- 70 (trailed by three)
2005 -- 74 (trailed by seven)
The rounds on Thursday aren't totally over yet, but Woods will likely remain four back after the day is complete.
His overall average first-round score at Augusta is 72.1, and he has top-10 finishes in 10 of his last 13 Masters. So I think he knows what he's doing.
The biggest thing for Woods is what happens on Friday and Saturday. As I outlined last week, in Woods' four wins, he has shot six of his best eight rounds ever at Augusta on those eight Friday/Saturday starts.
Another big thing for Woods this week is going to be how well he plays the par-5s. In his four wins, he's a combined 35 under on Augusta's four par-5 holes. Last year, when he finished T40, he was only 1 under.
Justin Ray of ESPN has more on how Woods played the par-5s on Thursday:
Tiger Woods birdies 13 to get to -3. Woods had 0 birdies, 8 pars on the two back-9 par 5's last year.— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) April 11, 2013
Woods played the par-5s in 2 under on Thursday -- a good start to what's shaping up to be a great week.
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