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Tiger Woods is a factor in this Masters. Here's how he did it

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The scorecard read 70, a 2-under start for Tiger Woods at this Masters. It might not sound overly impressive, especially given what he has done around this place in his career. But at the moment he walked off the 18th green, and shook hands with playing partners Jon Rahm and Haotong Li, Woods stood just 1 shot off the lead at a tournament he has not won since 2005. There was a buzz around Augusta National on Thursday, because for a brief period, Woods' name crawled to the very top of those famous white scoreboards as he stood tied for the lead.

How did he do it? We go through all 18 holes to show exactly how he put himself in position to make a serious run at his fifth green jacket.

Going into the round

Worth noting as Tiger Woods begins his Masters: He has not broken par in the first round of a major since 2014. He hasn't broken par in the first round of the Masters since 2013.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 1: Par 4, 445 Yards

Score: Par
Total: Even

Tiger opens with par at No. 1. So what, right? Actually, it's significant since he is + 17 on the opening hole over his career at the Masters. So getting out of there still standing at even par is a big deal.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 2 : Par 5, 575 Yards

Score: Birdie
Total: 1 under

Tiger could not have drawn up a better start to his day. Eases through the first hole, then gets up-and-down from the front bunker to make birdie at the par 5 second hole.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 3: Par 4, 350 Yards

Score: Par
Total: 1 under

Three holes and three club twirls from Tiger with the driver. Couldn't navigate the short pitch to the green the third, but saved his par. Now the first stressful section of the course hits -- No. 4 and No. 5 are monsters.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 4: Par 3, 240 Yards

Score: Par
Total: 1 under

Tiger had a birdie putt on the exact same line as his playing partner, Jon Rahm, had seconds before at the fourth. Rahm made his; Woods missed his. Still, a par at No. 4 is a score pretty much the entire field will happily take and move on.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 5: Par 4, 495 Yards

Score: Bogey
Total: Even

The first four holes went smoothly for Tiger Woods. Then the new, lengthened No. 5 took a bite out of both him and Jon Rahm. A wayward tee shot -- no club twirl this time -- led to a bogey to drop Woods back to even par.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 6: Par 3, 180 Yards

Score: Par
Total: Even

Former Masters champion Adam Scott said when the pin is on the top shelf at No. 6 it's like trying to land a ball on the hood of a car. Tiger landed the ball on the hood of the car, hitting it to 4 feet. Problem is, for the second straight hole, Tiger misses a short putt. That's a par he won't be happy with.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 7: Par 4, 450 Yards

Score: Par
Total: Even

Among the big questions about Tiger was the putter. After missing two short ones in a row, he converts a 5-footer at No. 7 to save par. That putter is going to be something to keep an eye on all day, all week.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 8: Par 5, 570 Yards

Score: Par
Total: Even

OK, this is going to sound like a repeat, but it's not: Tiger Woods missed another putt inside 10 feet. This one was for birdie at No. 8. It's already hinting toward a what-might-have-been round. Plenty of time to change it, but he's already left a few shots out there.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 9: Par 4, 460 Yards

Score: Birdie
Total: 1 under

Tiger gets a huge break at No. 9 and takes advantage of it. His tee shot rattled among the pines, but tumbled into the first cut with a clear view of the green. He stuffs his approach to make birdie for a solid 1-under 35 on the first nine.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 10: Par 4, 495 Yards

Score: Par
Total: 1 under

After a few holes of drama, Tiger has a ho-hum 10th hole, which is exactly what you want at the 10th hole. Safe drive, safe approach, safe putt, tap-in par.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 11: Par 4, 505 Yards

Score: Par
Total: 1 under

Just make it through No. 10 and No. 11 unscathed. That's the goal every round at Augusta National. Tiger Woods did just that, following up a par at No. 10 with another at the first stop around Amen Corner.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 12: Par 3, 155 Yards

Score: Par
Total: 1 under

Just like at No. 10 and No. 11, Tiger plays conservatively at No. 12 and walks away with a kick-in par. Now, though, it might be time to get a little more aggressive, with the par 5 13th and 15th looming in the distance.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 13: Par 5, 510 Yards

Score: Birdie
Total: 2 under

You have to take advantage of the par 5s at Augusta. He didn't at No. 8, but Tiger with a strong two-putt to make birdie at No. 13 to move to 2 under, just one shot behind the leaders.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 14: Par 4, 440 Yards

Score: Birdie
Total: 3 under

Raised putter. Fist pump. Co-leader. Things are happening for Tiger Woods. After a wild tee shot at No. 14, he hits a tremendous shot over the trees to 20 feet and then rolls in the putt.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 15: Par 5, 530 Yards

Score: Par
Total: 3 under

Perhaps Tiger with a little too much adrenaline following two straight birdies, he airmails the par 5 15th with his second shot and has to scramble for par. So for the day, he plays the four par 5s in 2 under. Still at 3 under and tied for the lead.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 16: Par 3, 170 Yards

Score: Par
Total: 3 under

Tiger cautious with his birdie putt at No. 16. Has to settle for a par. Been a clean scorecard since the bogey at No. 5. With two holes left, he is eyeing his first opening round in the 60s at the Masters since 2010 and just his second ever here.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 17: Par 4, 440 Yards

Score: Bogey
Total: 2 under

Tiger has escaped the pines a couple times to salvage par in his first round. He couldn't do it again at No. 17. He paid for that poor drive this time, posting his second bogey of the day to fall back to 2 under.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago

No. 18: Par 4, 465 Yards

Score: Par
Total: 2 under

Tiger Woods closes with a two-putt par at the 18th to finish with a 2-under 70 for his first round of this year's Masters. There were moments of brilliance mixed with a little sloppiness. But overall a strong start that will have him in the mix when he heads out on the course for Friday's second round.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com68d ago