Tiger Woods Starts Strong at the Masters as Paul Casey Leads an Incomplete Round
AUGUSTA, Ga. — At ease as he played his 87th round at the Masters, Tiger Woods stalked the Augusta National Golf Club on Thursday with the aplomb of someone sauntering through his living room in search of his favorite recliner, foot stool and coaster, for the cool drink in his hand. Shot by shot, the path was so familiar he could have negotiated it in the dark.
Because Woods has won the tournament five times and has been a Masters fixture for the past 25 years, it is possible he has played the golf course in those conditions. And probably still broken par.
Woods, the reigning champion, was not the leader after Thursday’s first-round play, which was delayed by a nearly three-hour thunderstorm that left dozens of golfers unable to finish their sessions. With a four-under-par 68, Woods was tied for fourth and quietly three strokes behind the leader, Paul Casey.
But Woods’s commanding round was the loudest statement of the day. It has been an up-and-down year for Woods, but on this day he was composed and virtually never out of position on the devilish Augusta National layout. It almost seemed that he was on cruise control, as if he could coast to a 68.