• The Masters

Woods happy to hold on after 'brutal' round

ESPN staff
April 5, 2012

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The Masters 2012: First round report

Tiger Woods believes he did well to stay patient on a day where he described the course setup at Augusta National as "brutal", after he opened his Masters campaign with a round of 72.

Woods finished with two successive bogeys to put a slight downer on his round, which was characterised by a number of wayward drives that left him struggling to recover. After storms had softened the course earlier in the week, Woods believes the way the course was set up - with tee boxes set well back and pins put in tricky positions - made it almost impossible to score well on the opening day.

"It's brutal. It's really, really tough," Woods said, when asked about the conditions. "I did not think they would play it [the course] that far back. They played it pretty deep today and, on top of that, some of these pins we haven't seen for a while. Hitting long irons into some of these flags is a tough deal."

The 14-time major champion acknowledged that he did not play his best on the opening day, and as a result was forced to use all his experience in order to fashion a respectable score, one that gives him a chance to threaten the top of the leaderboard over the next three days.

"I didn't hit it very good, but I made a lot out of that round," he said. "I was just falling into the same old bad habits - I'm probably going to get on the range now and have a good old session to get it fixed.

"[But] you have to stay calm and figure it out. You need to still execute the gameplan - I only changed it on one hole, at three, where I hit a three-iron instead of driver and made birdie.

"It's one of those things, I stayed calm and I stayed patient. I know how to play this golf course and just how to grind my way around."

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