Tiger unhappy in debut

April 07, 1995

The Masters debut of U.S. Amateur champion Tiger Woods did not get off to an auspicious start.

Playing with Jose Maria Olazabal, Woods, 19, had a 30-footer for birdie on the par-4 first hole that he putted off the green. He chipped back to within 10 feet, then made the putt for bogey.

"More than anything, I got adjusted to the putting," said Woods, who started off bogey-birdie-bogey but finished with a solid even-par 72. "I lost my focus on the first hole. I went brain-dead."

Woods received a note from Charlie Sifford, the first black player ever to enter a PGA Tour event. He later found out that Lee Elder, whose appearance here 20 years ago was the first ever by a black player, watched him at the first tee.

"I didn't know he was here," Woods said of Elder.

Woods had some impressive moments, including hitting an 8-iron over the 500-yard 15th hole on his second shot. He wound up birdieing the hole to get back to par.

When he walked up the 18th fairway, the normally stone-faced Woods was wearing a huge smile.

"You probably wouldn't have seen me smile that much if I had hit a bad shot," he said. "For me, I felt really good coming up 18 because I had a chance to go 1-under. Even though I didn't, I still feel pretty good."

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