Tiger Tracker: Hole-by-hole updates

The eyes of the world are on Tiger Woods as he returns to golf
on the game’s biggest stage — the Masters. Follow his round
hole-by-hole with FOXSports.com’s Tiger Tracker.

Sunday

The final order: Mickelson -16, Westwood -13, Kim
-12, Woods -11, Choi -11, Couples -9.

Phil on 18: Phil fans breathe a sigh of relief as
he takes out a fairway wood on the 18th tee, not a driver. His tee
shot misses the fairway, but it’s not in any trouble. Westwood,
meanwhile, hits a driver to the fairway. Phil’s second shot comes
to rest inside 10 feet.

Westwood finished with a par and winds up solo second.

Now it’s Phil’s stage: with wife Amy and their children
looking on, he makes his final birdie to finish at -16, winner by
three shots.

Phil’s a long way from the cup with his approach on 17. His
first putt runs 5-6 feet past, but after Westwood puts the pressure
on with a birdie, Phil makes his par.

Hole No. 18: Par 4, 465 yards: Tiger hits it to
about 5 feet on the final hole. As he and Choi walk up to the
green, the applause is polite, but hardly overwhelming. Choi pars
in for a 69. Tiger finishes with a birdie for a 69 that leaves him
at -11.

Hole No. 17: Par 4, 440 yards: Tiger gets up and
down for par. CBS has lost interest.

Routine two-putt pars for Mickelson and Westwood at 16.
Phil’s still in control.

Couples finishes off a 70.

Mickelson and Westwood are both looking to make hay at No.
15. Westwood is just over the back in two, while Phil has an
18-footer for eagle. Westwood’s chip checks up 4 feet short and he
misses the birdie putt. Now he’s four shots back. Phil two-putts
for birdie to get to -15. He leads Kim by three.

Hole No. 16: Par 3, 170 yards: Tiger’s tee shot is
just over the back. Another accessible pin position wasted. He
makes par.

Anthony Kim finishes off a 65. He’s the leader in the
clubhouse at -12.

Hole No. 15, Par 5, 530 yards: Naturally, Tiger
makes a 10-footer for eagle. Choi birdies.

Both Mickelson and Westwood fail to take advantage of the pin
position on No. 14. Both manage pars, though.

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 440 yards: With 172 yards to
the hole, Tiger hits his approach to 4 feet on one of the easiest
pin positions on the course. He misses the putt on the right side,
then lips out a careless tap-in and makes a killer bogey.

Mickelson and Westwood both find the pine straw to the right
of the 13th fairway. Westwood has to lay up, but Mickelson hits a
SPECTACULAR shot 3 feet from the cup! Amazingly, he pulls the putt
right and has to settle for a disappointing birdie. He’s at 14
under, leading by two.

Westwood makes a 7-foot putt for a desperately needed birdie
that takes him to -12.

Mickelson drains a 15-footer for birdie at No. 12 to get to
13 under and take a one-shot lead.

Hole No. 13: Par 5: 510 yards: Tiger HATES his
drive. He opts for religious commentary, but Buddha is not
mentioned. he lays up, almost holes his third, then makes a
6-footer for birdie.

Choi is in the back bunker at 13 with his second shot. One of
his very few mistakes on the day. His bunker shot comes up very
short and he makes bogey.

Anthony Kim follows birdies on 13 and 14 with an eagle at No.
15. He’s at -11, one shot behind Choi and Mickelson.

Hole No. 12: Par 3, 155 yards: Tiger’s in one of
the back bunkers off the tee, then hits out to the front fringe. He
makes the par-saving putt.

Mickelson hooks ANOTHER drive, this one at No. 11. He manages
to hit the green in two, though, and makes par.

It’s not 1992 anymore. Couples’ tee shot hits the bank of the
creek on No. 12, but unlike the year he won, this one doesn’t stay
up. After dropping, he hits a weak first putt and makes double
bogey.

After missing the green right at No. 11 (as so many do),
Couples misses a short par attempt to drop to 9 under.

Hole No. 11: Par 4, 505 yards: Tiger’s in the
trees to the right of the fairway. His follow-throughs are starting
to look like Arnie’s (and that’s not a good thing). His second shot
hits a tree and stays in the woods, but he has an opening to the
green. He then hits a wedge to 5 feet. The par putt won’t drop,
however, denying him a barkie and dropping him to -8.

Choi pars No. 11. He’s just not making any mistakes.

Mickelson hooks his tee shot into the trees on the right on
No. 10. He runs a low approach up just in front of the green, then
chips to tap-in range for par.

Westwood misses a 3-footer for par on No. 9, falling out of
the lead. As the final group goes to the back nine, Mickelson has a
one-shot lead on Westwood. Tiger is three back.

Hole No. 10, Par 4, 495 yards: Tiger fats his tee
shot, leaving him 220-plus yards to the pin. His approach is on,
but not close. A two-putt par gets him safely through. Choi, after
a sweet approach to 6 feet, drops the birdie to tie for the lead at
-12.

Phil’s in the pine straw off the tee at No. 9, but – was
there ever any doubt? -he gets up and down for par.

Hole No. 9, Par 4, 460 yards: Tiger drives into the
fairway, then cuts his approach just past the pin, where it spins
back to about 6 feet under the hole. He makes the birdie putt to
get to -9.

Choi pars No. 9 to make the turn in 33.

Mickelson makes a 4-footer for birdie at No. 8 to tie
Westwood for the lead at -12.

Couples hits a lovely approach to No. 9, sucking the ball
back below the pin about 6 feet. He makes the putt to get to 10
under.

Westwood’s in the fairway bunker off the tee at No. 8 and
can’t go for the green in two, but he makes par anyway.

Hole No. 8, Par 5, 570 yards: Tiger’s just off the
green in two after hitting a frozen rope for his second shot. He
chooses a putter, then runs the ball about 6 feet past. he makes
the putt for birdie.

Choi makes a one-putt birdie to tie for second at 11 under.

Westwood is in trouble at No. 7. He’s in the left
trees off the tee, then hits his approach into one of the greenside
bunkers. He hits a spectacular bunker shot, almost holing it after
a long left-to-right roll. He and Mickelson both make par.




Hole No. 7, Par 4, 450 yards:
Just when you’re about
to bury him – Tiger HOLES HIS APPROACH SHOT FOR EAGLE!

Gotta love that Sunday pin position at No. 16.
Already two holes-in-one there today, by Nathan Green and Ryan
Moore.

Hole No. 6: Par 3, 180 yards: Tiger is finishing
more swings with one hand on the club than two. He’s on the green
at 6, but not close to the hole. He is not amused, but so far he’s
keeping his thoughts to himself. His birdie effort burns the left
edge.

Choi, meanwhile, gets to 10 under with a birdie. He’s totally
outplaying Tiger today.

Great iron to about 5 feet on No. 5 by Westwood for a birdie
to take the lead alone again. Mickelson, meanwhile, misses the
green long with his approach. In typical Phil fashion, he saves
par.

Westwood bogeys No. 4 to drop into a tie for the lead with
Mickelson.

Hole No. 5, Par 4, 455 yards: Tiger drives into
the fairway bunker and can’t go for the green in two. He pitches to
8 feet but never scares the hole with his putt. He makes another
bogey.

Mickelson and Westwood both par No. 3.

Hole No. 4, Par 3, 240 yards: Tiger’s iron comes
up short and to the right of the green on this hole, which he has
bogeyed each of the previous two days. He chips 5 feet past, but
misses the left-to-right putt and makes another bogey.

Mickelson’s birdie putt on No. 2 hits a piece of tree debris
that fell during his stroke and misses. He makes a disappointing
par.

Hole No. 3, Par 4, 350 yards: Tiger drives into
the fairway, but flies his short wedge shot over the green.He chips
up and saves par.

Choi, after almost chipping back into the fairway, makes a
spectacular par save from the front of the green.

Couples rolls in a birdie putt from just off the gree at No.
3. He’s at -9.

Hole No. 2, Par 5, 575 yards: Tiger hates his
drive, but it’s in the fairway. Ahead, Fred Couples misses a
makeable eagle putt after a gorgeous shot to No. 2, but makes
birdie.

After reaching the front bunker in two, Tiger chunks his
third shot, leaving himself beached. His next shot lands close to
the pin and he makes par. Choi birdies after a pretty wedge shot to
get to -9.

Westwood, perhaps taking a page from Tiger’s book, is wearing
a red shirt. Also like Tiger, he misses the first fairway to the
left.He hits a branch with his second shot, leaving himself in the
fairway with 128 yards to go. His third shot finds the green, but
not close to the hole. He two-putts for bogey.

Mickelson drives into the middle of the fairway and hits the
green in regulation. He misses a 15-footer for birdie and taps in
for par.

Hole No. 1, Par 4, 445 yards: Tiger tees off first
in his group, and it’s not a good start. He drops the driver in
disgust at the end of his swing, and with good reason: the ball has
gone way left. He’s actually on the adjacent fairway.

He hits an iron up over the trees and winds up just off the
green. His chip runs through to the back fringe and he two-putts
for bogey.

Choi, meanwhile, hits the green despite finding the fairway
bunker off the tee and makes par.

It’s another beautiful day in Augusta, with the midday
temperature at 72 degrees, the humidity at 30 percent and the wind
only 7 mph.

Scott Verplank is the biggest mover among the players on the
course, 4 under through eight holes to get to 1 under overall.

Tiger’s chances today? Well, he’s never come from behind to
win a major.

Phil Mickelson is seeking his third green jacket, and he’s
playing in the final group at a major for the first time since his
final-hole meltdown (“I am such an idiot!”) at the 2006 U.S. Open
at Winged Foot.

Tiger and K.J. Choi are playing together for the fourth
straight day.

Saturday

Summary: A second straight 2-under 70, courtesy of
7 birdies and 5 bogeys. Birdies on Nos. 13, 14 and 15 were the key,
keeping him within sight of the lead. Afterward, Tiger said he
struggled with the pace of the greens and fought his swing, but was
pleased with the result. “I just need to clean up my round,” he
said.




Hole No. 18, Par 4, 465 yards:
A drive to the
fairway, a beautiful iron to 3 feet and a tidy birdie putt put a
nice exclamation point on Tiger’s round.

Hole No. 17, Par 4, 440 yards: Tiger loses his tee
shot way right. He drops his club in disgust, but keeps his
thoughts to himself. He has to hit his approach well to the right
of the green, then pitches on. He misses the uphill 6-footer,
though, making bogey and falling 5 shots off Westwood’s lead.

Mickelson blocks his approach right on 18, landing it in the
crowd. He then delights the crowd by lofting a patented Phil Phlop
to about phive pheet (couldn’t resist). He makes the putt for a 67,
finishing at 11 under, one shot off the lead.

Couples finishes at -7 after a bogey at 18.




Hole No. 16, Par 3, 170 yards:
Tiger makes a routine
par, never scaring the hole with his 15-foot birdie attempt.

Mickelson bogeys 17 to drop into a tie for the lead.

Hole No. 15, Par 5, 530 yards: Tiger is over the
green in 2, then chips about 10 feet past the cup. The birdie putt
is in all the way, bringing him to -8. Choi also birdies to get to
-8.

Hunter Mahan birdies the last to finish at 6 under.

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 440 yards: After his drive
rolls just off the right side of the fairway, Tiger hits a
beautiful approach to 3 feet, then makes the birdie putt.

Mickelson taps in from mere inches for birdie at No. 15 after
nearly making his third straight eagle. At 12 under, he’s the new
leader.

Fred Couples chips in for eagle at No. 15 to get to -8.

The front bunker at 12 catches both Westwood and Poulter.
Westwood makes bogey, dropping into a tie for the lead with
Mickelson. Poulter makes double bogey.

Hole No. 13: Par 5, 510 yards: Tiger reaches the
green in 2 from about 250 yards, but his approach settles into the
front right of the green, well below the hole. A two-putt birdie
gets him back to even par for the day.

Mickelson holes out from 139 yards on No. 14 for back-to-back
eagles! That gets him to -11, 1 shot behind Westwood. He’s only the
third player in Masters history with back-to-back eagles.

Hole No. 12: Par 3, 155 yards: Tiger finds the
front bunker off the tee, blasts to 5 feet and makes the par-saver.
Meanwhile, playing partner Choi birdies.

Mickelson eagles No. 13 to get to -9 and solo second place, 3
shots behind Westwood.

Hole No. 11: Par 4, 505 yards: Tiger reaches the
fight side of the green from more than 200 yards out. The flag,
however, is on the left. He rolls his 60-foot approach close and
taps in for par.

Westwood rolls in a birdie putt on No. 10 to get to -12 and a
4-shot lead.

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 495 yards: After splitting the
fairway with his drive, Tiger brings his approach in right over the
flagstick, leaving a 12- 15-footer for birdie. He misses the
left-to-right swinger, then misses a 4-foot comebacker and makes
bogey.

Hole No. 9: Par 4, 460 yards: Tiger’s in the woods
to the right of the fairway. He hits the green with his approach
from the pine straw, but the ball doesn’t make it all the way up to
the pin. Still, he shouldn’t have trouble making par — and he
does, completing an even-par front nine.

K.J. Choi hits a gorgeous approach to about 2 feet at No. 9,
then makes the birdie putt to get to -6.

Looking at an eagle putt for a 5-shot lead, Westwood rolls
the ball 4 feet past the cup, but makes the comebacker for birdie
to get to -11.

Hole No. 8: Par 5, 570 yards: Tiger is just off the
right side of the green in 2, seemingly well within range of a
birdie. He runs his chip shot 4 feet past, then makes the birdie
putt.




Hole No. 7: Par 4, 450 yards:
Trying to hit his
patented stinger with a fairway wood, Tiger leaves the ball in the
left rough. His approach runs barely through the green and again,
he is audibly unhappy. Putting from the fringe, he runs his first
effort 5 feet past the hole, then misses his par putt

Leader Westwood chooses a driver on No. 7 and misses the
fairway WAY left. He recovers nicely and hits the green with his
approach, but he’ll have a long 2-putt. Not to worry, he saves par.

Crowd favorite Tom Watson birdies No. 10 to get to 4 under.

Mickelson makes a short birdie putt on No. 8 to get
to 8 under.




Hole No. 6: Par 3, 180 yards:
Well, he didn’t throw
his club after a loose tee shot that left him on the wrong side of
this green, about 70 feet from the hole, but Tiger’s
self-admonition was clearly heard on camera: “Tiger Woods, you
S-*-*-*!” He rams his first putt about 18 feet past the cup. His
par putt just misses the left edge of the cup.

After being bunkered off the tee at No. 5, Poulter lips out
his par putt on No. 5 to drop to -7.




Hole No. 5, Par 4, 455 yards:
Tiger’s just off the
front edge of the severely sloped green in two, and his first putt
is well off the mark. But he drains a 5-footer to save par.

Westwood birdies the fourth to stretch his lead to 2 shots.




Hole No. 4: Par 3, 240 yards:
Tiger bogeys the first
par 3 for the second day in a row.

Hole No. 3: Par 4, 350 yards: On one of the
trickiest holes at Augusta National, Tiger drains a 30-foot,
left-to-right putt for his second birdie of the round.

Hole No. 2: Par 5, 575 yards, par 5: Tiger lays up,
wedges to 20 feet, then runs his birdie putt just barely past the
hole and taps in for par.

Lee Westwood makes a 20-footer for birdie on No. 1 and takes
the lead alone at 9 under.

Poulter saves par on the first after his bad drive.

Phil Mickelson birdies No. 3 to get to 8 under, tied for the
lead.

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 445 yards: Tiger splits the
fairway with his drive. He lands his approach about 15 feet below
the hole. He makes the birdie putt!

Ian Poulter pulls his first drive left, into the gallery.

It’s 70 degrees and sunny in Augusta as the leaders get ready
to tee off in the third round. Humidity is just 22 percent, with an
8 mph ENE wind.

Heath Slocum is 4 under through his first seven holes, moving
to 3 under for the tournament.

Whoever comes out of today with the lead will be a large
favorite to take the green jacket. In nine of the past 11 Masters,
the winner has held at least a share of the third-round lead.

Fred Couples birdies each of the first two holes to get to 5
under.

Friday


Summary: All in all, it was a good day for Tiger.
Until his 20-footer for birdie on No. 13, Woods had not hit a putt
of any significant length all week. With two medium-length birdies
on 13 and 15, however, Tiger put up a solid, consistent 70 to keep
himself right in contention. If he can get hot with the putter over
the weekend, he could be slipping on his fifth green jacket.

Hole No. 18: Par 4, 465 yards: Tiger does not want
to give a shot back on the last hole. A good drive will be key to
ensuring that. He stripes it. That will play very well and give him
a chance to possibly attack this green.

The pin is in the back on No. 18 today, so golfers will need
to be careful not to get too aggressive and miss long.

Tiger has made the opposite mistake. He’s on the front edge
of the green, a good 60 or 70 feet away. He came up a full club
short. The wind must have gotten ahold of that one. Tiger has a
tough two-putt ahead of him.

A standing ovation from many of the patrons as Tiger
approaches the 18th green. He acknowledges the applause with a tip
of his cap. The patrons have certainly been gracious, if not
effervescent today.

Tiger’s birdie putt is another nice lag. Right on line, the
putt comes up about two feet short. Tiger will mark it there. A par
would give him 70. And that’s what he has.

Hole No. 17: Par 4, 440 yards: Tiger’s tee shot is
headed way left. He yells “Fore!” The ball seems to hit someone in
the gallery and kick back a bit closer to the fairway, but still
well into the rough. He’s near a tree, but it’s unclear how much
the tree will impede his next shot. He’ll have to get creative on
his next shot.

Tiger decides to go over the several trees that are maybe 50
or so yards in front of him, a truly spectacular shot to even try.
And it’s fantastic! He’ll have a legitimate birdie chance. He’s
about 10 feet away from the pin, hole high.

Tiger is unable to capitalize. His putt slides by on the
left. It doesn’t even really burn the edge. That would have been a
spectacular birdie. Given where he was after the drive, however,
he’ll likely be fine with par.

Hole No. 16: Par 3, 170 yards: This is probably the
most difficult pin placement on this hole. It’s cut in the front
right, just over the bunker, on a green that slopes heavily right
to left towards the water. If you miss to the right, it’s a
near-impossible chip.

Or you could do what Tiger just did. He takes it in over top
of the flag stick and stops it right in its tracks. He’ll have
maybe 6 feet for birdie.

This is going to be a very quick putt. He hits it ever so
lightly, and it doesn’t break the way he thinks it will. It stays
up on the high side of the hole. He taps in for par.

Hole No. 15: Par 5, 530 yards: A definite birdie
opportunity, and a possible eagle opportunity here, depending on
the drive.

Tiger has hit the fairway with his tee shot. It didn’t appear
to go as far as his drive on Thursday, when he had only 191 yards
into the hole and made eagle, but Woods should still be close
enough to go at the green in two.

Tiger’s second shot goes just over the back of the green. The
pin is cut on the left part of the surface, while Tiger’s shot went
over the center part of the wide, but shallow green. He’ll have a
delicate downhill chip from there, but there is plenty of green to
work with.

Tiger’s chip gets hung up in the fringe on the first couple
hops and slows down to much. It kicks right a bit and trickles down
onto the green. He’ll have about 15 or 20 feet for birdie, but it
will be a downhill, left-to-right curler. Not an easy task.

Tiger’s putt is on the way, it’s curling in, it’s tracking
… it’s in! Both of his birdies on the par 5s on the back nine
have come via longer putts than you would normally expect. He’s 2
under on the round today, 6 under overall.

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 440 yards: The 14th is playing
as the most difficult hole in Friday’s second round. Tiger bogeyed
it in his first round.

The tee shot center cut. Almost as soon as he hits it, Tiger
bends down to get the tee, looking up only in time to see the ball
land in the fairway. Hitting the fairway, of course, does not
guarantee anything on No. 14. Tiger hit a great drive on Thursday
only to pull his second shot and make bogey.

Tiger catches a terrible break on his second shot. The ball
lands about 10 feet short and a bit left of the flag and spins just
a touch. It looks like it will stop about 15 feet short and right,
giving him a makeable uphill putt. But the ball catches the ridge
and just doesn’t stop. It rolls all the way down to the bottom
ridge on the right part of the green. He could have 90 or 100 feet
for birdie on a shot that was otherwise nearly perfect.

Tiger hits a great lag putt, given how far away he was right
there. He leaves himself maybe four feet for par. And he hits it.
It may seem simple, but that short putt was crucial for Tiger to
keep the round’s momentum going. With the par 5 15th coming up, he
should have another birdie opportunity.

Hole No. 13: Par 5, 510 yards: The 13th is always a
good scoring opportunity, particularly for longer players like
Woods. He two-putted for birdie on Thursday.

Tiger’s drive, which looks like he hit with a 3-wood, is a
low stinger down the middle. It lands soft and doesn’t roll much.
He should be able to go at the green in two, but it doesn’t look
like his shot got as far around the curve as he would hope.

In a bit of a stunner, Tiger elects to lay up. With the pin
tucked left, he apparently did not have the angle to be able to
comfortably go at the green around the curve. That’s quite a
surprise, given the relatively short length of this par 5. He will
have to get up and down from inside of 100 yards to make birdie.

Tiger’s shot is very underwhelming. He takes it in low
looking for it skip once and stop. The ball obeys, but Tiger leaves
it at least 20 feet short. It’s not an impossible putt, but he had
to be looking to get closer than that.

And there is the first putt he’s hit! With a little
right-to-left break, Tiger had that ball tracking all the way. He
lifted his putter in the air in front of him just before the ball
dropped. That should give him some confidence.

Hole No. 12: Par 3, 155 yards: The hole known as
“Golden Bell” is a gorgeous sight to see today. The weather is
perfect, the wind is still. This is what makes Augusta so special.

Tiger’s shot is good, not great. It lands below the hole, on
the front edge and stays there. He’ll have about 20 feet from
there, but the putt should be relatively straight and up the hill.
Tiger will be able to get aggressive with this one.

Tiger’s putt is right all the way and never has a chance.
Speed is good again. He taps in for par. Next hole should be a
great birdie opportunity.

Hole No. 11: Par 4, 505 yards: Amen corner begins
with the longest par 4 on the course. Tiger needed a lucky bounce
on Thursday to stay out of the trees on the right.

No lucky bounce needed today for Tiger. Woods absolutely
stripes the drive and is in perfect position.

The pin is in the front part of the green. Anything left will
be wet, with the pond waiting to snatch up errant shots. Playing
partner Matt Kuchar, who seemed particularly wary of the water,
missed so far right that his ball hit patrons several rows deep in
the gallery. The patrons themselves are already 30 yards right of
the target.

Tiger’s shot is safe as well. He left the ball out to the
right, hoping for a kick left and onto the green. Instead, the ball
landed softly and barely moved. He’ll have a relatively
straightforward chip for his third shot, but this isn’t a realistic
birdie opportunity now.

Tiger’s birdie effort is decent, but doesn’t really threaten
the hole. It rolls about 3-4 feet past the cup. He’ll mark it
there. Sinks the putt.

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 495 yards: Tiger started the
back nine with a bogey on Thursday. His approach to the green came
up short and he hit a very mundane chip before missing a slick
downhill par putt. He’ll be eager to start off the back side better
today.

Tiger takes a 3-wood off the tee and hits a beauty. The ball
carries to the top of the ridge and takes the slope all the way
down. He’s on the right edge of the fairway. Very good position.

The pin is tucked on the right side of the green, so it’s a
tough angle of approach for Woods. As he hits his second shot,
Tiger appears to slip a bit. His right foot comes out from under
him and he pulls the iron shot. It’s not a bad miss, the ball lands
hole high in the middle of the green. But clearly he was trying to
get closer to the pin than that.

Tiger’s birdie effort is a good one, but just runs over the
edge on the low side of the hole. Still hasn’t hit a long putt this
week. But par on 10 is a good score.

Hole No. 9: Par 4, 460 yards: Tiger hit one of the
greatest shots of his first round on No. 9 on Thursday. After a bad
drive, he hooked the ball about 30 yards around some trees, getting
it within 10 feet of the hole.

Today, Tiger has another opportunity for birdie. The pin is
on the left side, and bit back on this long, narrow green. After
two shots, he’s in the middle of the putting surface, with probably
20-25 feet up the hill for birdie. Tiger hasn’t made a putt of any
considerable length yet this week. He needs to get the flatstick
going.

Tiger’s putt has perfect speed, but the line is just a bit
off. He’ll tap in for par. All things considered, a 36 on the front
nine isn’t bad. But you know Tiger feels that he left a few shots
out there.

Hole No. 8: Par 5, 570 yards: Tiger eagled this
hole on Thursday, and while he hasn’t moved backwards today, you
know he would like to get something going here.

Woods’ drive is pulverized. It starts down the left side and
cuts back just a bit. Center of the fairway. Perfect.

Tiger doesn’t have the eagle magic today. It takes him two
shots to get his ball on the front part of the green. With the flag
in the back, he will have at least 60 feet for birdie.

Tiger’s putt is very well judged. Speed is excellent, line is
good. The ball goes about 2 feet past the hole and should be an
easy par from there. It is. Still even today.

Hole No. 7: Par 4, 450 yards: The scene of Tiger’s
first bogey in his first round, No. 7 has been significantly
revamped in recent years. The hole was lengthened, some trees were
trimmed slightly on the left side and tee shot now plays like it’s
in a chute through the Georgia pines. Most of these changes were
made about 4-5 years ago.

Tiger’s drive is down the right side and kicks into the
rough. He’ll have an awkward second shot as he tries to avoid
bogeys here in back-to-back rounds.

Woods recovers well and gets down in 4. Onto the par 5 8th.

Hole No. 6: Par 3, 180 yards: With the pin in the
back left portion of the green, the slope of the putting surface
should funnel shots towards the hole if they land on the proper
tier.

While he hasn’t been particularly sharp today, this is an
unlucky break for Tiger. His shot to the green barely misses the
ridge that would have sent the ball towards the cup. Instead, it
rolls back towards the front of the green. He will have a very long
birdie putt from there. He’ll be happy to two-putt.

And two-putt he does. He long effort cozies right up to the
hole for an easy tap-in. Tiger remains even on the day.

Hole No. 5: Par 4, 455 yards: This may be one of
the greatest Masters memories that no one has ever heard of. In the
1995 Masters, Jack Nicklaus eagled No. 5 twice. What’s so special
about that? It’s a par 4! Nicklaus holed out from the fairway from
180 yards out with a 5-iron in the first round and from 163 yards
out with a 7-iron in the third round.

Tiger’s drive on No. 5 is on the left edge of the green,
behind the two fairway bunkers. But he approach isn’t great and
goes into the back greenside bunker.

The blast out of the bunker is excellent. He rolls it to
about 5 feet and calmly knocks in the par putt. A good par
considering the two below-average shots he hit.

Hole No. 4: Par 3, 240 yards: One of the toughest
holes at Augusta, No. 4 is not one that Tiger typically plays well.
He went over the green in his first round, though he did manage to
get up-and-down for par.

Tiger pulls a long iron way left. His hand comes off the club
during his follow through, a classic Tiger reaction to a poor shot.
He’s left of the left greenside bunker. This will be a challenging
up-and-down.

Tiger’s pitch is deft. The touch is soft and the ball rolls
to within 8 or 10 feet of the cup. He’ll have a chance to save par.

The par attempt slides by on the low side of the hole. Woods
will give back the shot he picked up on the 2nd.

Hole No. 3: Par 4, 350 yards: The site of Tiger’s
first birdie in Round 1, he takes to the 3rd hole with some
momentum off the birdie today on No. 2. Fun Masters memory from No.
3: Jeff Maggert was leading in the final round in 2003 when he
found a fairway bunker to the left. His shot ricocheted off the
face of the bunker and struck him in the chest for a two-stroke
penalty. He took triple bogey on the hole and never recovered. Your
champion that year? Mike Weir.

Back to this year. Tiger pulls another drive left, but this
one won’t hurt him too bad. He should still have an opening to this
short par 4.

Woods plays a shot to the front part of the green. It’s a
good shot, but not great. He’ll have maybe 20 feet for birdie, up
the hill, with right-to-left break.

His putt loses steam right at the last minute and barely
misses the hole. He’ll settle for par.

Hole No. 2: Par 5, 575 yards: In his first round,
Tiger failed to get up and down from off the green after going for
this par 5 in two. Historically, Woods has dominated the par 5s at
Augusta. Notable about No. 2: In 1983, Seve Ballesteros was one
shot behind hedaing into the final round when he opened
birdie-eagle-par-birdie. He went on to win that even by four shots
for his second green jacket.

Tiger goes for the green in two, as we would expect. He’s
long on his second shot.

A slick, downhill chip slides a few feet past the hole,
leaving himself a tricky little 3- or 4-footer for birdie. The putt
will break left to right.

Tiger hits the short birdie putt and moves to 5 under on the
round. There is currently a seven-way tie for second place, all of
them two shots behind the leader Couples, who is 1 under on the day
(7 under total) through 5 holes.


Hole No. 1: Par 4, 445 yards: The reception for
Woods is gracious, but seemingly more tepid on Day 2 than on Day 1.
No boos. But the applause is muted.

Tiger does not start his round nearly as well as on Thursday.
He pulls his tee shot way left into the pine straw. It will be a
difficult par from there.

Woods is already in scramble mode and manages to get down in
four from there. An opening par should give him some confidence
heading into the Par 5 second hole. Meanwhile, playing partner K.J.
Choi was not as fortunate. Choi, who was in a tie for 2nd after the
first round, bogeyed the opener to drop into a tie with Woods.

Couples birdies: Fred Couples has pushed his lead
to two shots with a birdie on the par 5 2nd. Tiger will tee
shortly.

Where we stand at 10:00 a.m. ET: Nick Watney, who
shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday, is 1 under on his second round
through 5 holes. That puts him in a seven-way tie for second place,
still one shot behind leader Fred Couples. Couples just completed
his first hole, parring the opener.

Tiger on the range: Wearing a sweater in the early
morning Georgia air, Tiger Woods is warming up on the range for his
10:35 a.m. ET tee time.

As far as the range goes, players have been raving about the
new facility. Augusta National’s new practice area is an 18-acre
meticulously manicured expanse that looks like it was surgically
removed from the course itself. There are dual 400-yard-long
fairways with strategically positioned trees, the familiar white
bunkers and even realistic greens that allow players to practice
every shot needed to conquer Bobby Jones’ masterpiece. There’s even
a new short-game area with one green for putting and two more for
chipping so players can hone their game.

Sandy Lyle tanking: The 1988 Masters champion gave
Augusta patrons a thrill on Thursday with an opening 69. The magic
has not carried over to Friday. Lyle is already 9 over through 7
holes in his second, putting him at 6 over for the tournament. It
was fun while it lasted…

Thursday

Summary: Tiger Woods had never broken 70 in an
opening round at the Masters … until today. In perhaps the most
pressure-filled round of his professional life, Woods shot a
4-under 68 Thursday. He made two eagles, the first time he has ever
done that in one round at the Masters, and also had three birdies
and three bogeys. He trails surprise leader Fred Couples by two
shots. Five golfers are tied for second at 5 under, including Phil
Mickelson, Lee Westwood and 60-year-old Tom Watson.

Hole No. 18: Par 4, 465 yards: As Tiger walks from
the 17th green to the 18th tee, you can see him mouthing “thank
you” to the fans who are applauding. He also tips his cap to them.
Something to note.

His tee shot is headed a bit right, but for the third time
today gets a favorable kick and ends up on the right edge of the
fairway. It’s better to be lucky than good, but it’s best to be
both.

Tiger’s second shot to the green brings a roar from the
crowd. The shot lands just beyond the pin and spins back down the
slope towards the hole. He’ll have maybe five feet for birdie and a
67.

Tiger jams the putt a bit to hard and it lips off the left
edge. He settles for par and a 68.

Hole No. 17: Par 4, 440 yards: The 17th, known for
the Eisenhower Tree on the left side of the fairway, requires an
accurate tee shot — and that is exactly what Tiger has delivered.
The ball gets to the top of the hill at the landing area, which
should give him an excellent chance to attack this green.

With a great angle of attack, Tiger won’t be happy with that
approach. His line was good, but the shot came up a full club
short. He’ll have about 40 feet up the hill and over a ridge for
his birdie.

A decent lag putt leaves Tiger about 3 feet for his par. He
marks the ball rather than electing to finish right there. No
matter. He knocks it in smoothly.

Hole No. 16: Par 3, 170 yards: The scene of one of
Tiger’s greatest shots at Augusta, No. 16 is a relatively short par
3 with water to the left of the green. The ball will funnel towards
the water so it is possible to get it close here.

Tiger’s shot is directly over the flag, probably a half club
long on the yardage. The ball moves left towards the water after it
hits and rolls near the fringe. A good shot. Tiger will have about
20 feet for birdie. The putt will break left to right.

Tiger is brought to his knees as the putts barely misses on
the low side. It looked good until the very last moment. Still, if
he can par in, a 68 would be a great opening round.

Hole No. 15: Par 5, 530 yards: Tiger will be
anxious to get back the shot he just gave up on No. 14. The hole
has been lengthened in recent years and trees were planted on the
right side of the hole making it a more demanding tee shot.




Tiger absolutely crushes the ball right down the middle. He
should have no more than a middle iron into the par 5.

As soon as he hits the ball, Tiger begins walking towards the
green. You just knew it was going to be good. The ball lands right
over top the flag stick and doesn’t move more than a couple feet.
He’ll have inside of 12 feet for eagle. It’s been an up-and-down
back nine, but he has a chance for his second eagle of the day.

And there it is. Tiger moves to 4 under. Believe it or not,
this is the first time Tiger has ever had two eagles in the same
round at the Masters.

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 440 yards: The only hole on the
course without a bunker, Tiger stripes his tee shot straight down
the fairway. Not normally thought of as a birdie hole, Tiger may
have a go at this one on his second shot.

Tiger’s approach is pulled very far left and his reaction is
a familiar one. He lets the club slip out of his hand on the follow
through, spins around and yells “God!” It did not sound like he
uttered a true profanity, but that is definitely the kind of
reaction people expected him to limit in his newly remade self. As
for the shot, it’s not good. The ball bounced off the downslope of
the left side of the apron off the green and went into the area
where the patrons are sitting. He’s not in the pine straw, but he
won’t have much green to work with.

The pitch up is good, but not great. He will have about 8
feet for par.

It’s unclear if Tiger pushed the putt or expected it to break
left, but either way he missed it. The ball hung just off the right
edge as it skirted the hole. He gives back the birdie he just got
on No. 13.

Hole No. 13: Par 5, 510 yards: While he gave away a
shot by missing an easy birdie putt at No. 12, the 13th represents
a hole in which Tiger should be able to pick up a stroke. It’s a
short par 5 that bends significantly left. The approach has to
carry Rae’s Creek, but that shouldn’t be a problem fr someone of
Tiger’s length.

The tee shot is absolutely perfect. He bends it right to left
to mirror the contour of the hole and should have a great
opportunity to get home in two.

Tiger starts his approach out to the right, drawing it back.
The ball lands about 20 feet past the pin, right into the face of
the slope on the green. With the soft conditions, the ball stops
where it lands and begins to come back down the slope. It ends up
hole high, 10 feet away for eagle.

Tiger gets aggressive with the left-to-right bender, but it
lips the hole on the high side. He’ll have about three feet coming
up the hill for birdie. Drain-o. He’s back to 3 under.

Hole No. 12: Par 3, 155 yards
: As Tiger strides up to one of the most famous
holes in golf, he gets a solid ovation from the patrons. Some even
stand and applaud. Tiger doffs his hat to acknowledge them —
something you never used to see him do. Interesting.

Now to the hole. It’s a short par 3, but it’s over water, has
a bunker in front and a very shallow putting surface. Long is not a
good bailout area, either. There is another bunker there along with
azaleas. A steep downhill chip awaits any golfer that ventures
there. A very difficult hole.

Tiger takes a 9-iron. The deep mark his ball leaves in the
green is a foot from the hole. The crowd goes wild. With the spin
on the ball, it comes back a bit. He’ll have maybe 5 or 6 feet for
birdie.

Weather note: The rain has stopped and the wind seems to have
calmed a bit. If it stays that way, scoring conditions could be
good coming in with softer greens.

Tiger’s birdie putt lips out. He seemed to just push it a bit
right off the putter face. That’s a shot he gave away.

Hole No. 11: Par 4, 505 yards: Amen Corner, perhaps
the most famous three holes in golf, begins here. The most famous
moment on No. 11, named “White Dogwood,” was Larry Mize’s 140-foot
chip-in for birdie in a sudden-death playoff against Greg Norman in
1987. On a day like today, however, par is a great score.

Tiger takes out his driver. The tee shot is going way right.
Woods begins to slam his club, but seems to try to temper himself
mid-slam. Is this what he was talking about with being more
respectful? He still did slam the club down, but refrained from
cursing and some of his other antics. And he catches another break!
The ball kicks out of the trees, and nearly ends up on the fairway.
He’ll have a lengthy second shot, but at least he’s not in the
woods.

Tiger plays a cut shot on his approach and has the ball
holding its line perfectly. It bounces on the front portion of the
green and kicks forward softly. He’ll have a birdie putt of no more
than 20 feet.

The birdie putt doesn’t really threaten the hole, but it
leaves Tiger with an easy tap-in. If he can get through No. 12
unscathed, he has a real shot to pick up some shots with par 5s
coming up on Nos. 13 and 15.

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 495 yards: It may seem like a
daunting yardage for a par 4, but if a player’s drive catches the
downhill fairway slope — as Tiger’s is likely to do — it becomes
a more manageable hole. But a tough approach still awaits
regardless of the yardage.

Tiger takes a 3-wood off the tee and it comes out
left. He gets a very fortunate bounce out of the trees and the ball
comes to rest in the left rough. He’ll have a shot from there.

The rain has started and umbrellas are out. No immediate
danger of play being stopped right now, but the weather is
definitely impacting the later players. Advantage on Day 1 to the
golfers who had early tee times. The distribution of golfers across
the leaderboard confirms that.

Tiger brings his approach in low and from right to left. It
just makes the front edge of the green, but then rolls back off the
front due to the slope. Given the wet conditions, however, the ball
does not come very far back down the slope.

His pitch shot is too strong. It runs a good 5-7 feet past
the hole, maybe more, which will leave him a very delicate downhill
putt. He’s in danger of giving back the birdie he got on No. 9.

The putt has left-to-right break and it just barely hangs up
on the lip. The slower greens almost certainly had an effect on
that putt. Unlucky that it didn’t drop. Bogey for Tiger.




Hole No. 9: Par 4, 460 yards:
The 9th begins a
three-hole stretch of three very difficult par 4s. The tee shot on
this one should be aimed down the right side for a good angle into
the green, which features two large bunkers to the left. With a
steep bank at the front of the green, an approach that is short
could spin up to 60 yards back down the fairway.

Tiger’s drive is left. Far left. He’s behind a group of trees
and will have to hook the ball if he wants to get it at the green.
The wind is picking up as well.

Tiger starts the ball way out to the right and has it hooking
perfectly. The ball must be hooking 30 yards. It lands in the
middle of the long, deep and skips toward the back pin placement.
The ball runs up the back fringe and starts trickling back towards
the hole. It comes to rest about 12 feet from the hole. A definite
birdie possibility.

With the wind increasing and some weather warnings popping up
around the course, it will be interesting to see how many more
holes the players can get in before the rain starts.

With his pants flapping in the wind, Tiger drains his birdie
right in the center of the cup. He finishes the front nine
eaglie-birdie.

Hole No. 8: Par 5, 570 yards: Coming off his first
bogey, Tiger will be eager to get it back. This par 5 should give
him that opportunity. His drive puts him in good position for an
approach to the green. He will no doubt try to go for this in two.

Tiger goes for it with a long iron, and his shot bounds off
one of the mounds to the right of the green. The ball kicks down to
the left towards the green. Hole high, the ball continues to
trickle. It’s a remarkable shot. Tiger has no more than 10 feet
left for eagle.

It’s a delicate putt with a bit of right-to-left break. He
starts it off slowly. The ball starts to bend, but holds its line
and drops in the bottom edge of the cup. A mini Tiger fist pump
comes out. Eagle!

Hole No. 7: Par 4, 450 yards: Back in Byron
Nelson’s day, this hole played at 320 yards and was driveable,
depending on the wind. No longer. Depending on what club players
use off the tee, the approach could be with a middle, or even long,
iron.

Tiger tosses some grass up in the air several times to try
and gauge the wind. The tops of the Georgia pines are swaying
fairly significantly. Using a fairway wood and aiming down the
left-hand side, Tiger tries to use his “stinger” shot in which he
keeps the ball below the wind. He does so, but the ball stays on
its initial line, failing to cut. It comes to rest in the second
cut of the left rough.

The wind is really picking up now. With a right-to-left wind,
Tiger plays the ball out to the right, hoping that his draw and the
wind will combine to bring it in towards the hole. The wind,
however, holds the ball up, and it comes up short and right of the
green. He’ll have a pitch across the green ahead of him and a
challenging up-and-down for par.

Tiger’s pitch gets him to about 10 feet, but he is unable to
make the putt and records his first bogey of the day. He falls back
to even par.

Hole No. 6: Par 3, 180 yards: The 6th hole has an
elevated tee box from which players shoot down to a large green
with three tiers. There are significant slopes on all three levels.
The pin today is in the back right part of the green. The 6th hole
has not been changed in over 30 years.

Tiger’s towering iron shot gets back to the correct tier and
releases just a touch. He’ll have about 15 feet, maybe a bit more,
for birdie.

More hearty applause for Woods as he walks up the par 3
towards the green.

Tiger’s left-to-right effort slides under the hole. He
started walking towards the ball before it even got there, knowing
it would miss. He tapped in from less than two feet for his par.

Hole No. 5: Par 4, 455 yards: Tiger takes driver on
this medium-length par 4, and misses his first fairway of the day.
He holds his arm out to the right and yells “Fore!” The ball skips
off the edge of the fairway and goes into the right rough. Unclear
yet if he will have clear shot at the green.

Tiger does, in fact have a clear shot at the green. As soon
as he hits his iron approach, he begins yelling at the ball to
“Go!” The ball reaches the front edge of the green and stops,
leaving Tiger with a lengthy putt of probably 50 feet. Two putts
from there will be a job well done.

Tiger aims his putt out at least 15 feet to the right. It’s a
huge breaker. The putt comes up about 5 feet short. That small putt
will have plenty of break itself. Definitely a tester for par.
Tiger steps up to the putt … and drains it.

Hole No. 4: Par 3, 240 yards: This beast of a par 3
requires a long iron for most players, and even a fairway wood for
some. In the past, Tiger has hit something in the 4- or 5-iron
range. Wind also plays a factor in club selection here. The group
has a long wait on the tee as the threesome in front of them
finishes the hole.

Tiger takes a fairway wood this time and seems flush it. The
ball carries to the back fringe and kicks even further behind the
green. This will be his first scramble for par.

If Tiger is nervous today, he isn’t showing it with his play.
An up-and-down from behind the green keeps him in red numbers and
keeps his solid round going.

Hole No. 3: Par 4, 350 yards: Some audible calls
of “Tiger!” and “Go Tiger!” from the patrons as Woods approaches
the 3rd tee box. So far the reception has been quite positive from
the Augusta crowd.

Tiger’s drive on the shortest par 4 on the course finds the
fairway again. That’s three fairways in three holes to start. The
ball doesn’t kick forward as he may have been hoping, but Tiger
should have a green light approach to this L-shaped green that
slopes severely from right to left. (Fun fact: Hole No. 3 is named
“Flowering Peach”.)

With the pin in the back right, Tiger shouldn’t have to deal
with the slope of the green too much — or the front bunker. He
pitches the ball in low, it takes a few hops towards the hole and
sucks back just a bit. He’ll have maybe 6 feet for his first birdie
of the day. Good touch on that shot. It’s those sorts of “feel”
shots that could be tough given his long layoff. His flop shot on
No. 2 wasn’t great. But this one was definitely Tiger-caliber.

The putt drops! Tiger has his first birdie.


Hole No. 2: Par 5, 575 yards: Tiger once again
stripes his drive, getting a good roll down the slope. He may be
able to go for this green in two. (Side note: Tom Watson just
birdied No. 18 for a 5-under 67. That matches his lowest round ever
at Augusta. He is the current clubhouse leader.)

Tiger’s 3-wood approach hangs out to the right. It stays just
on the right edge of the right greenside bunker. It’s literally an
inch or two from the sand. The pin is near the front of the green
and his ball is actually close to hole high — but he won’t have
much green to work with. The fact that he has an uphill lie for his
chip should help him get some height on the shot and maybe even a
little spin.

With the green sloping away from him, Tiger attempts a
full-swing flop shot. The ball goes at least 20 feet beyond the
hole. The slope at that point angles back toward the pin, so with
the slope and a little spin the ball backs up a bit. Still, Tiger
is a good 20 feet away for birdie.

The putt never has a chance. It’s left all the way. It comes
to rest about 3-4 feet left of the hole. Should be a par, but not a
good birdie effort. Tiger’s first mini knee-knocker is in the heart
of the cup. He’s still even.

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 445 yards: Tiger gets a huge
round of applause as he arrives on the first tee. That must be a
huge load off his mind. This is probably the most anticipated
opening tee shot in major championship history. And he stripes it!
Tiger spins his driver as we’ve seen so many times, the immediate
indication that he liked the shot. The ball takes a few short hops
in the fairway and comes to rest. Playing partners Matt Kuchar and
K.J. Choi also hit the fairway with their drives.

Tiger is taking a free drop in the middle of the fairway. It
looks like his ball came to rest in either standing water or ground
under repair. Unclear the exact situation, but it must be something
similar to that. Tiger’s approach to the first green is excellent.
The ball hits hole high, about 10-12 feet left of the pin. It spins
back a bit, but he’ll have a makeable birdie putt from there.

Tiger’s putt barely misses on the low side, leaving him an
easy tap-in for par. He exhales deeply as he walks off the green.
He’s probably very glad to have that opening hole behind him.

Weather changing: The wind appears to be picking
up on the course, and is expected to continue to do so as the front
moves in. Conditions may be far more difficult for those golfers
with later tee times, including Tiger.

Clean shaven: The goatee that Tiger was sporting
during his practice rounds and in his Monday press conference is
gone!




Tiger on the range:
With less than hour before his
tee time, Tiger is warming up on the range. He chatted briefly with
Miguel Angel Jimenez after he arrived at the range. Jiminez was
just finishing up there before heading to the putting green ahead
of his tee time at 1:09 p.m. ET.


Weather update: After two straight days of record
heat in Augusta, Georgia, golfers and patrons alike will get some
relief. The bad news? Relief will likely come in the form of
thunderstorms. According to The Weather Channel, a line of
thunderstorms — some of them strong — will move through Augusta
this afternoon. With lightning a distinct possibility, there is a
chance play could be suspended. Given Tiger’s 1:42 p.m. ET tee
time, the weather could very well affect his round. More updates to
come when we have them.