Bunker Mentality

Tiger Whoops? Woods swears live on air with first televised shot at Masters

Bunker Mentality

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Tiger Woods of the U.S. carries his scorecard as he leaves the 18th green during first round play in the 2013 Masters golf tournament in Augusta

Tiger Woods is almost as well known for microphones picking up his expletives after bad shots as he is for his love life, but even by his standards he hit a new high in the first round of the 2013 Masters.

As the cameras at Augusta went live around the world the world number one was immediately picked out by the producers as he hit his second shot at the 11th hole.

Cue a missed green, a sarcastic laugh, and a "how the f*** did it do that?" broadcast loud and clear across the globe. And also, we presume, across the fairway to Lyndsey Vonn, Woods's girlfriend, who followed him throughout the round.

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Skier Lindsey Vonn, girlfriend of Tiger Woods, watches first round play in the 2013 Masters golf tournament in Augusta

Despite Tiger's rhetorical question, there was in the end no mystery about how the hot favourite opened his round with a two-under-par 70.

As a golfer you're always grinding to get your score just one shot lower. A birdie here, a par save there, and that 74 might be a 73, or that 80 might be a 79.

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Tiger Woods of the U.S. walks to the 15th green during first round play in the 2013 Masters golf tournament in Augusta

For Woods, a birdie putt on the 18th hole on Thursday would have meant an opening round in the 60s for just the second time in his career at the Masters, but in a weird way it might have worked out better that it didn't go in. That's because when Tiger opens with a round of 2-under 70, like he did on Thursday, it's usually a pretty good omen for the week.

In three of Tiger's four Masters wins, he shot a first round 70, and only once before has he posted 2-under and not gone on to win (that happened in 2009).

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Tiger Woods of the U.S. hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during first round play in the 2013 Masters golf tournament in Augusta

So how did Tiger get there? Woods started his bid for a 15th major championship in the form that we've become accustomed to seeing in 2013, by making clutch putts to start his round.

Tiger wasn't sharp off the tee to begin, but rolled in a few par putts and finally carded a birdie on No. 6. His birdie on the par-5 8th bucked the trend Tiger had going a year ago at Augusta when he didn't take advantage of the par-5s, and his birdie on No. 13 was his first on a back nine par-5 since 2011.

Still, Tiger dropped a shot on No. 14 with a three-putt and couldn't convert a short birdie putt on 15. His round ended with 30 putts, and despite being four shots back told ESPN after that he was very satisfied with how he played to start.

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Tiger Woods of the U.S. watches his approach shot to the seventh green during first round play in the 2013 Masters golf tournament in Augusta

Woods didn't do anything incredibly well on Thursday. He hit nine fairways and 13 greens and didn't really cash any crazy putts, but the point of the first round at this major championship is to avoid shooting yourself in the foot.

An opening 70 by Tiger is exactly what he needed, and if there were any nerves there to start this Masters, they seem all but done. Woods is in a perfect spot with 54 holes left.

Eurosport / Shane Bacon

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