Tiger Woods bringing the roars to Sunday at the Masters

Tiger Woods hits from the second tee during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday

Tiger takes centre stage at Augusta

Tiger Woods needs a new plan for the fifth hole at Augusta National.

One hole earlier, a pinpoint chip to set up birdie had drawn with one shot.

It's been 11 years since he won his last major and had five surgeries since then, including four on his back and the other to rebuild his left knee. "This is now three straight majors that I've been in the mix and so it's good stuff".

He's in contention at the Masters, but still sits three strokes behind the leading quintet of Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Francesco Molinari, Jason Day, and Brooks Koepka.

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Brooks Koepka, who won a second straight US Open title past year then held off Woods to win the PGA Championship, was alone in fourth on 206 after a three-under 69. The Italian two-putted for birdie at the 13th, holed an eight-footer at the 14th and got up-and-down from just over the green at the par-five 15th for his fourth birdie in a row.

Then came what was perhaps his shot of the tournament, a ideal 8-iron at the par-3 16th - where two aces were made Sunday - that landed perfectly on a slope and trickled down a slope and just sliding by the hole.

"Yeah, I missed a few putts out there but I'm not too bummed out about it because I hit them on my lines", Woods said. "So I can live with that". "I hit a really good shot, but I didn't think it was going to be, you know, a foot from the hole". This puts Woods in a good starting position and he will be confident going into his next three rounds.

Arnold Palmer also had four victories.

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Woods came to the tee at No. 6 four shots out of the lead.

Molinari, the British Open champion who has shown he belongs among the elite in golf, had a 67 and was the first to reach 7-under 137. They tee off Saturday at 2:05 p.m. ET. "I didn't learn a lot, to be honest, about the course, because we were going sideways most of the time".

But his biggest piece of luck came at the par-five 13th, where he hooked his drive so far left that the ball seemed more likely to end up in adjacent Augusta Country Club than stay in Augusta National.

"Obviously it's nice to be a little bit ahead, but you might just need one hole to change", Molinari added. Notables to miss the 4-over number include Justin Rose (+4), Danny Willett (+4), Sergio Garcia (+4), Brandt Snedeker (+5), Charl Schwartzel (+5) and Paul Casey (+10).

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That left him just shy of the biggest co-leader pack ever after 36 holes at the Masters, the five one more than in 2017 and 1973 - each time the eventual victor coming from the top foursome. Every 30 seconds, I would be letting the balloons out, and these guys are looking at me very unusual.

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