Masters 2018: Late birdies help save Tiger Woods' opening round

Tiger Woods is coming off of his fourth back surgery in four years, but he has shown signs of life this season.

Tiger Woods didn't bring his sharpest form to the first round of the Masters Thursday, but he escaped with a 1-over 73.

Woods, playing in his first Masters since 2015, fell to 3 over through 12 holes, but two late birdies helped him finish within shouting distance of the current leaders at 4 under. Driving accuracy plagued Woods Thursday, leading to few birdie opportunities.

Starting the day in all black, Woods hooked his opening tee shot left into the gallery. He recovered with a par, and then birdied the par-4 third hole to get to 1 under. But he quickly dropped shots on the fourth and fifth holes, and never saw red figures again in Round 1.

Woods, a four-time Masters champion, has not slipped on a green jacket since 2005. He will need to improve on the par 5s this week — he failed to birdie any of the four par 5s Thursday — if he's going to get back in contention.

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Playing alongside Woods in Round 1, Marc Leishman shot a 2-under 70 after a double-bogey on the par-5 15th, and Tommy Fleetwood made three late birdies to shoot an even-par 72.

When Woods ended his first round, Henrik Stenson and Charley Hoffman were tied for the lead at 4 under.