Tiger Looks Crisp in Opening Round of Masters

His personal turmoil does not appear to have affected his game.

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If Thursday was any indication of what's to come, Tiger Woods the golfer is picking up right where he left off.

Coming back from a five-month layoff, his marriage and reputation shattered by revelations of serial infidelity, the world's greatest golfer stepped up to the first tee at Augusta National and picked up where he left off.

He hit a booming shot down the right side of the fairway - "One of the best drives I've ever seen him hit," swing coach Hank Haney said - and it seemed as if Woods had never been away.

By the third hole of the Masters, he had a birdie on his card.

Five holes later, he calmly rolled in an eagle and broke out that patented fist pump for the first time.

Then at No. 9 came one of those signature Tiger shots, a wicked 5-iron hooked around the pine trees, a line drive that skidded to a stop just above the hole to set up an improbable birdie. He sidestepped out into the fairway to see where it landed, then strolled up to the green and knocked in a 15-foot putt.

"I got into the flow of the round early," Woods said. "Got into the rhythm of just playing, making shots, thinking my way around the golf course."

He made it sound so easy.

"I was just pretty calm all day," Woods said. "I felt this is what I can do. This is what I know I can do. Just go out there and just play. I expected to go out here and shoot something under par."

That he did, probably exceeding even his own high expectations.

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