Rory McIlroy the No 1 pick for Masters, says Jack Nicklaus

The returning Tiger Woods will be desperate to put in a strong performance at Augusta

Woods made a bogey from the fringe on 12 that he absolutely had to have.

After an early birdie, Tiger suffered through back-to-back bogies to put himself one-over for the day.

X-rays were negative, and Finau was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain.

He almost drove the green at the par-4 third and chipped past the hole. I mean, was it 2010 he hadn't played in a few months and this was his first start back and finished fourth. It was only the sixth eagle on the 18th hole at the Masters, and the first since Chris DiMarco in 2006.

Defending champion Sergio Garcia, Justin Thomas and amateur Doc Redman will be in the group behind Woods. The average victor over the past 12 years shoots 9.6-under par and doesn't miss greens.

After missing all of 2016 and most of 2017, Woods had anterior lumbar interbody fusion surgery just over a year ago, and it has given him a new lease on life.

5th shot: Tap-in for par.

Youngest victor of Masters is Tiger Woods (1997, 21 years, 3 months, 14 days).

He says, "That was the difference in the round". But last year was a breakout season for the 24 year old with five wins and a player-of-the-year award.

Jason Day was enduring a nightmare start at four over through seven, while US PGA Championship victor Justin Thomas - having birdied the second - was one over through nine.

"The addition of Tiger being healthy and playing well", Spieth said, "no matter what else happened, was probably going to make it as anticipated as any going back five, six, seven years".

And now, Masters champion?

With the exception of the shot that landed just feet away from me, seeing Tiger throughout the day was a struggle.

1st shot: He opts for the driver on the par-5 second, and he rips it down the right-center with a little club twirl for added effect - 351 yards.

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Bubba Watson, a two-time Masters champion, won the Genesis Open and the Match Play.

"I walked past Tiger on the range and I said, 'I never thought I would see the day - Tiger and Phil playing a practice round at Augusta, '" Rory McIlroy said.

Total rainfall should be around a half an inch - a rainy day for sure, but certainly not among the wettest days the Masters has seen.

His long time fans will be back in his rat pack on the course, roaring over his every swing, chip and putt.

Woods is also reviving the golf industry itself.

Charley Hoffman sits atop the leaderboard at 4 under.

"But it is Tiger Woods".

Woods hit three balls into the gallery and another into the water at Augusta National's famed, three-hole signature section. Of the past three Masters winners, only Danny Willett averaged par or worse, with a combined scoring average of 4.58 strokes. He yanked the 3-wood left and he'll be hitting from the pine needles.

With the coordinated efforts of marshals placed along each hole and at breaks in the ropes, players never have to wait for a crowd to clear the area of play while patrons are able to move quickly around the course.

He took advantage of solid tee shots and even better approach shots while making consecutive birdies at the second and third holes. He went to the putting green.

Then 24 hours before he was to tee off, calamity struck. He had a big birdie on 16 in a spot where he needed something positive out of the final three holes. He just missed the putt.

Nevertheless, Augusta National - as it does with so many other aspects of a golf tournament - handles it better than any other club out there.

He dislocated his ankle celebrating a hole-in-one during the Par-3 Tournament on Wednesday and then popped it back into place.

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