AUGUSTA, Ga. -- If Monday was subdued, Tiger Woods' practice round on Tuesday was positively silent.
At least initially.
For the second day in a row, Woods was in the second position off the first tee at Augusta National, slapping a driver into the fairway at 8:03 a.m., three minutes after the gates opened to spectators. As a result, there was virtually nobody on the course to see him hit his opening shot, which split the fairway.
One man stationed near the tee box yelled something encouraging to Woods as the rest of the fans within earshot, perhaps 100 or so, stood mute and didn's say a word.
Defending champion Angel Cabrera was the first player off the tee, playing as a single. Woods teed off second with longtime pal and former mentor Mark O'Meara in tow.
For those keeping track, Woods played four rounds at ANGC before this week, played nine holes Sunday and logged practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday. So, while there's no way to replicate the pressure of facing live fire, he's certainly chipped away the rust as best he can given his chosen circumstance.
The only player to win the Masters when making it his first start of the seasonwas Ben Hogan, who did it twice.
Following O'Meara and Woods off the tee was the foursome Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson and Sean O'Hair.
The Woods pairing had an interesting few moments on the front nine, when a helicopter hovered overhead as they practiced on the seventh green and walked to the eighth hole. Monday, a helicopter could be heard on the periphery of the course as Woods played, though it was never sighted from the course and was believed to be a news copter tracking traffic patterns on access roads.
Tuesday's bird parked directly overhead for a while as Woods and O'Meara putted on the seventh green and made the 75-yard walk to the eighth tee, then left. There were no visible markings to identify it as a news or law-enforcement copter.
By the way, for you equipment folks, and I don't believe this has been reported elsewhere, Woods is using as new Nike VR Tour driver this week, Nike confirmed.