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Tiger Woods backs up on chilly Masters morning, has quick turnaround

Tiger Woods backs up on chilly Masters morning, has quick turnaround

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The sun peered over the towering pines just before 8 a.m. Friday morning, providing a little bit of reprieve from the chilly, breezy air. These kinds of early wakeups are most challenging for Tiger Woods and his surgically repaired body.

Woods was in red numbers, 1 under through 13 holes, when first-round play was halted because of darkness, a stoppage that forced Woods and 26 other players back out to complete their opening Masters rounds.

When Woods stepped onto the 14th tee box, he appeared to be still trying to loosen up. He found the fairway with his drive, though it traveled only 287 yards. His next shot, which came after a few more various stretches, resulted in a thinned iron from 171 yards, one-handed finish and difficult third shot from short of the green, where Woods had to somehow chip one close to the back-right pin up on a shelf.

Woods’ chipped long, missed the putt and bogeyed the hole. He’d wedge long at the next hole, the par-5 15th and par that one. Birdie putts from 20 feet, at Nos. 16 and 17, slid by. And at the par-4 finishing hole, Woods’ approach kicked into the right greenside bunker, and he couldn’t get up and down.

Woods declined media after the round and headed straight to the tournament practice area, but it was hard to blame him. Max Homa, who shot 67 (his first score in the 60s in 13 Masters rounds), did the same. When they concluded play, they had just over a half-hour before they'd have to play another 18 holes.

For Woods, it'll be a tougher ask than his playing competitors.