Tiger Woods' Masters odds just went way down

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After two strong rounds that had many followers believing Tiger was back, the former world number one stumbled, recording four of his five bogeys in the first seven holes to finish at three-over par 75.

Playing competitively for the first time in 301 days, the 14-time major victor made five birdies at Albany Golf Club as he beat his effort when making a similar return in this event 12 months ago by four shots.

"I think it is successful because I went out there and shot 31 on the front nine and built upon what I did yesterday", responded Woods when asked how he rated the round. Woods had pulled within two with a bounceback birdie on hole 10.

That was cancelled out by a bogey on nine, but further birdies on 10, 13 and 14 thrust him into contention before a wild tee shot on 15 led to a second bogey of the day.

The 41-year-old had a lot of fun today and gamers/fans are now licking their chops for 2018 to roll around.

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He was unable to convert a decent birdie opportunity set up by a brilliant approach from the waste area at the 16th, before producing a good chip to save par at the 17th and then confidently knocking in a testing four-footer to do likewise at the last.

"Tiger is back", Carter said of Woods' Thursday performance.

"The only thing I struggled with was the speed of the greens".

Said defending champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan here on Wednesday, "I am sure Justin or Jordan (Spieth), we haven't seen his best of golf, but if he gets back to that point every week he will be the favourite and he will win a lot of tournaments".

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