The Masters 2019: Why Tiger Woods’ opening round of 70 is bad news for the rest of the field at Augusta

12 Apr

Tiger Woods got off to a solid start at The Masters on Thursday with a two-under-par round of 70.

Most of the field would be content with an under-par first 18 at the notoriously challenging Augusta.

Tiger Woods shot 70 in the first round at The Masters

Woods is tied 11th and four shots off leaders Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka – who shot 66.

Three-time former Masters champions Phil Mickelson is one shot further back after his opening round of 67.

Phil Mickelson enjoyed a good start to this year’s competition

A score of 70 on the opening day is possibly a good omen for the 43-year-old Woods.

In three of his four victories at Augusta, the veteran hit the exact same opening round score and went on to win the Green Jacket.

His first came in 1997 when he won by an astonishing 12 shots. The second was in 2001 when 16-under-par was enough to win.

He made it back-to-back victories the following year and became the first person since Nick Faldo in 1990 to defend his title.

Woods’ fourth, and last, win at The Masters came in 2005 but he had to come back from a disappointing opening round of 74 to win.

He eventually fought his way back to win a play-off against Chris DiMarco.

The 14-time major champion will tee off for his second round at this year’s competition at 5.49pm (GMT) with Jon Rahm and Haotong Li.

Tiger Woods chosen as wild card pick for US Ryder Cup team alongside Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson

4 Sep

US Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk has named Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods as his first three wild cards for the 2018 competition.

DeChambeau, Mickelson and Woods finished  9th, 10th and 11th in qualifying, with DeChambeau winning the first two FedEx Cup play-off events in the past fortnight.

Woods during the final round of the 2018 PGA Championship

Woods had been scheduled to be a vice-captain at Le Golf National in Paris and Furyk announced he would therefore add David Duval, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar to his backroom staff.

Woods underwent spinal fusion surgery in April last year and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence the following month when he was found asleep at the wheel of his car.

The 42-year-old, who had five prescription drugs in his system, later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and will spend a year on probation and undergo a diversion programme.

Woods only returned to competitive golf in November but has been impressive ever since, recording five top-10 finishes and missing just two halfway cuts, with sixth place in the Open at Carnoustie and second in the US PGA removing any lingering doubts about his place on team.

The 14-time major winner will look to improve on his poor record in the event, which has seen him win 13, lose 17 and halve three of his 33 matches.

The biennial contest against Europe will take place from September 28-30.