Tiger Woods Woods and McIlroy have up and down starts

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, gives a thumbs-up after winning The Players Championship golf tournament Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Tiger Woods has had an up-and-down start to his opening round at the Masters. He made a short birdie putt on No. 2, but missed a 7-foot par putt on No. 5 to fall back to even par.

The other players in Woods’ group Thursday are among the early leaders: Haotong Li is at 2-under while Jon Rahm as at 1-under.

Rory McIlroy got into some trouble on his first tee shot after landing right of the fairway in the trees. He eventually made bogey.

McIlroy, who has never finished higher than fourth at the Masters, made it back to even par after making a 4-foot birdie putt on No. 3.

Corey Conners made an eagle on No. 15 to move into the lead at 3-under par.


10:55 a.m.

Justin Harding, Emiliano Grillo and Kevin Tway were at 2-under par atop the early leaderboard in the first round of the Masters.

Takumi Kanaya, an amateur from Japan, was also off to a good start at 1-under. He was tied with Branden Grace, Eddie Pepperell and Henrik Stenson.

Four-time Masters champion Tiger Woods is scheduled to tee off at 11:04 a.m. Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler are right behind him in the 11:15 a.m. group.

9:35 a.m.

Gary Player got the best of Jack Nicklaus off the tee. Nicklaus had the last word in the press room.

The 83rd Masters began with honorary tee shots, a tradition that dates to 1963 at Augusta National. Player, with a new endorsement deal at age 83, drilled his tee shot halfway up the hill on the left side of the fairway. Nicklaus, 79, was next and hit some 30 yards shorter.

They spent the next hour in the interview room. One of the topics was on amateur great and Augusta National co-founder Bobby Jones. Player, who won nine majors, said he felt a player needed to win at least six majors to be considered great.

Nicklaus spoke next on Jones. He said he agreed with everything Player had to say, except that someone needed 10 majors to be considered a great player.

The banter never ends.