A couple inches here and there separated Tiger Woods from a great round on Thursday to open the 2011 Masters at Augusta National. Woods saw a plethora of putts burn the edge or lip-out, keeping his solid opening round from being an excellent one, and leaving him with a 1-under 71 in the clubhouse.
Woods began the round with five straight pars before breaking through on the par 3 sixth as he sunk his birdie putt to get to 1-under. But Woods gave it back on the holes No. 10 and No. 11, bogeying each to move to 1-over on the day. At 11, he drove it into the trees, punched out of the pine-straw to just in front of a green and just missed his par putt after chipping up as his ball went almost all the way down and popped out.
But his round may have turned on No. 12 after his tee shot on the short par 3 found the front bunker. Woods blasted out, but left himself in a tough spot above the hole, with a tricky downhill slider to follow. It was a putt nobody had made all day, yet Woods calmly sank the putt to save par heading into hole No. 13, a good scoring hole.
Woods bounced back after his save on No. 12 draining a birdie on the par 5 13th after lagging up close and sinking a birdie on No. 14 to get back to 1-under. His round ended with a narrow miss on No. 18, though, a theme of his day. His golf swing was solid, with just a few misses off the tee, but Woods’ putter let him down at times on the tough greens of Augusta.
After the round, Woods was pleased with his round and felt good about his putting, but said the ball just wouldn’t fall despite the "beautiful" putts he hit. He was happy with his swing and felt good about his position on the leaderboard as he’s right in the thick of things heading into the second round.
A full leaderboard can be found at The Masters website. For more on the tournament, check out the rest of our 2011 Masters StoryStream. Head on over to SB Nation Atlanta for a local angle or check out SB Nation’s full coverage of the 2011 Masters.