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Augusta Masters: Tiger Woods makes strong start to title defense; Paul Casey leads

Tiger Woods, who will turn 45 next month, made par on the hole after rain pushed back tee times three hours on Thursday.

IANS | New Delhi |

Defending champion Tiger Woods shot a four-under 68 that put him three behind the leader Paul Casey (65) on the opening day of the Augusta Masters.

Woods, who will turn 45 next month, made par on the hole after rain pushed back tee times three hours on Thursday. It was Woods’ first bogey-free effort in his last 106 rounds in the majors, and first at Augusta National since 2008. He hit 10 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens.

“Yeah, I did everything well,” the official PGA Tour website quoted Woods as saying after his first-ever bogey-free opening round here.

“I drove it well, hit my irons well, putted well. The only real bad shot I hit today was I think 8. I had a perfect number with a 60-degree sand wedge and I hit it on the wrong shelf. The only thing I could say is I wish I could have made a couple more putts,” he added taking 30 strokes on the greens.

Casey, meanwhile, shot a seven-under 65 to lead the tournament. The 43-year-old was about to start his round when play was put on hold due to rain, and after a nearly three-hour delay, he played all 18 holes.

The Masters this year is being watched by club members and officials but the paying public has been kept away amid the Covid-19 pandemic.