Augusta (United States) (AFP) – Tiger Woods teed off in the Masters for the first time in three years on Thursday, setting off in search of his first major title in a decade.
Woods pulled his first shot at Augusta National’s par-four first hole left into the pine straw but emerged with an opening par.
The 42-year-old superstar, who says he’s playing pain-free after spinal fusion surgery last year, is playing his first major championship since missing the cut at the 2015 PGA Championship.
A four-time winner of the Masters, he missed the last two editions as he battled debilitating back trouble.
Two top-five finishes on the PGA Tour this year have fueled expectations that Woods can contend for a fifth green jacket.
He claimed the last of his 14 major titles at the 2008 US Open before scandal and injury derailed his bid to surpass Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18.