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Woods Clears First Masters Hurdle, Now Faces Ultimate Test

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AUGUSTA, Ga.: Tiger Woods had played just 24 holes this year before the first round of the Masters and the 15-time major winner will put his battered body to the ultimate test Friday when he must play almost that many holes in a single day .

Seeking to set a Masters record 24th straight cut, Woods got his quest off to a good, if unspectacular, start on Thursday, working his way to one under par through 13 holes before play was halted due to of darkness.

The 48-year-old will play the remaining five holes of his first round before diving straight into 18 more holes for his second round on one of golf’s toughest layouts.

Woods, who returned to golf after a near-fatal car accident in 2021 that nearly resulted in the amputation of his right leg, said his body is holding up well.

“Body feels good, we still have some work to do tonight,” said Woods, who also had ankle surgery last year.

“It was good to finish 13th.

“We’re going to warm up and get out there and start our round, and I think the flow would be about 20 to 30 minutes between rounds, so it’ll be a natural flow from the end of the first round and on to the second.”

With storms delaying the start of the first major competition of the year by 2 1/2 hours, rainy conditions and gusts would not have favored Woods, but by the time he left in the afternoon with Max Homa and Jason Day, the sun had returned with the heat.

The former world number one started his round as best as possible with a birdie on the first hole, something he had only done once before, in 1999.

“I don’t remember the other time, to be honest with you,” Woods said. “I hit a nice three-wood on one, hit a nice little eight-iron to about 10, 12 feet and made the putt.”

Bryson DeChambeau leads the Masters after posting a seven-under 65 in the first round.

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