The Sports Report: Tiger Woods has a remarkable first round at The Masters

Tiger Woods tees off at the 18th hole.
Tiger Woods tees off at the 18th hole.
(Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Sam Farmer: With thousands of spectators watching his every move Thursday morning, Tiger Woods emerged from the Augusta National clubhouse, closed his eyes, took a deep breath as if to brace himself, opened his eyes and stepped into the next chapter of his legendary career.

The five-time Masters winner began his pursuit of his sixth green jacket under circumstances almost beyond belief.

He’s 14 months removed from a catastrophic rollover car accident that threatened his ability to walk, and yet somehow he remained a factor on the first day of the storied tournament.

Playing conservatively and frequently saving par with his putter — including a 10-footer on 18 — Woods shot a one-under-par 71 with 13 pars, two bogeys and three birdies. Woods trails first-round leader Sungjae Im by four strokes. Cam Smith is second at four-under par.


“To play this golf course and to do what I did today, to make — to hit the shots in the right spots — I know where to hit it to a lot of these pins, and I miss in the correct spots and give myself good angles,” he said. “I did that all day, and I was able to make a few putts and end up in the red like I am now.”

It was Woods’ first competitive round in 509 days, since the 2020 Masters that was postponed until November because of the pandemic. He played with Louis Oosthuizen and Joaquin Niemann, who shot 69 for his best career round at Augusta.

Woods, 46, said during the week that his challenge wouldn’t be ball-striking or putting, but walking the undulating course on his rebuilt legs. He looked slightly stiff but not overly uncomfortable, although he did briefly clutch at his back after his errant tee shot on No. 9.

“I’m going to be sore, yes,” he said. “That’s just the way it is. But the training cycles that we’ve had to make sure that I have the stamina to keep going — and this is only one round. We’ve got three more to go. There’s a long way to go and a lot of shots to be played.”

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From Mike DiGiovanna: Anthony Rendon sent a long fly ball into the left-field corner in the seventh inning Thursday night, eliciting a full-throated roar from a sellout crowd of 44,723 in Angel Stadium, and when the right-field scoreboard flashed “HOME RUN,” it appeared the Angels had turned a one-run deficit into a one-run lead.

One little problem: The drive was foul. Third-base umpire Ryan Wills made the correct call, which was upheld by replay review, and Rendon grounded into a double play on the very next pitch, his frustration and futility emblematic of a mostly empty season opener for the Angels.

Two-way star Shohei Ohtani was dominant, giving up one run, four hits and striking out nine in 4 2/3 innings, but Houston left-hander Framber Valdez was even better on a scorching 93-degree night, blanking the Angels on two hits over 6 2/3 innings of the Astros’ 3-1 victory.


Valdez, relying heavily on a 95-mph sinking fastball and 83-mph curve, gave up two hits, both ground-ball singles by Matt Duffy, struck out six and walked one. He retired 15 straight from the second through sixth and needed only 67 pitches to complete six innings.


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From Jack Harris: For a team with such familiar ambitions, there were plenty of new sights sprinkled into the Dodgers’ finally tune-up games against the Angels this week at Chavez Ravine.

The No. 5 jersey that used to belong to Corey Seager was donned by a different face, as Freddie Freeman was serenaded by the home crowd for the first time after joining the team on a six-year, $162-million contract last month.

“Sweet Child O’ Mine” blared from the speakers during the ninth inning, as recently acquired right-hander Craig Kimbrel officially replaced Kenley Jansen — and his “California Love” entry music — as the team’s new closer.


The holdovers from last year’s team had reset their focus on a new season, too. After winning 106 games last year, yet failing short of their main objectives, they were preparing again for the pressure of renewed World Series-or-bust expectations.

“I feel this is a team that has to prove something,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Yeah, the roster is great. But there’s a lot of great rosters that don’t hold the trophy at the end of the season.”

He added: “We’re not the National League champions. We’re not the National League West champions. We’re not defending World Series champions. So for us to think that we’re always on it, I would argue that we better flip the narrative and the script and better start being hungry.”

Ahead of the team’s season opener Friday in Denver against the Colorado Rockies, here are five things to watch for as the 2022 campaign gets underway.

Click here to continue with the story.


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Connor McDavid set a career high with his 42nd goal and became the seventh player in NHL history to record multiple point streaks of at least 15 games in a season as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Kings 3-2.

McDavid, who also had an assist, remained the league’s top scorer with 109 points. Evan Bouchard also had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who have won six straight to take a three-point lead over the Kings for second place in the Pacific Division.

Warren Foegele also scored for Edmonton, and Mike Smith stopped 30 shots.

Trevor Moore had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles, which has dropped two straight and four of its last six. Viktor Arvidsson also scored, and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves.


McDavid extended his goal streak to six straight games 3:17 into the first period with a snap shot from just inside the left faceoff circle that beat Quick on his short side. McDavid is the first player since Wayne Gretzky in 1990-91 to have at least two point streaks of at least 15 games in a season.

Gretzky did it seven times, while Mike Bossy, Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur, Denis Savard and Bobby Orr were the others. McDavid has 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) during his current streak.


From Andrew Greif: The Clippers’ play-in tournament matchup is set — and a date with one of the roster’s former core pieces awaits.

The Clippers will travel to Minnesota for a Tuesday game against the Timberwolves and pugnacious Patrick Beverley, the guard the Clippers traded away in August.

Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. PDT from Target Center, with the winner earning the seventh seed and a first-round series against second-seeded Memphis. If the Clippers lose, they would host a game Friday at Arena for the right to earn the eighth seed — and a first-round series against top-seeded Phoenix — against the winner of San Antonio and New Orleans’ own play-in game.


From Dan Woike: Four veterans sat. Another got waived. The Lakers season, functionally over after being eliminated, still had to take the court – even if 80 percent of its once-projected starting lineup wasn’t available.


LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony all sat and the team cut Trevor Ariza – all while using their 40th different starting lineup of the season against the playoff-bound Golden State Warriors.

But in that void Talen Horton-Tucker delivered the best game of his career, a reminder of why the Lakers valued him this past offseason, scoring 40 in a 128-112 loss to the Warriors. It’s the third-year player’s career high.

It was against another reminder of how far the Lakers fell from their early-season goals.

There was a time early in the season when the Lakers imagined potentially closing games with James, Westbrook, Davis, Anthony and Ariza. Now, with the stakes completely removed, the Lakers played with nearly all of its star-power sidelined.

“LeBron’s ankle is still not ready. He wouldn’t be playing if we weren’t eliminated. And Anthony’s plantar fasciitis is causing him to limp around out there. So he’ll be out tonight and day-to-day,” Frank Vogel said pregame. “And Russ, him dealing with a shoulder thing that’s been slowing him down and we’re going to have him out tonight. And Melo has been trying to get over that stomach bug that he had last week and really hasn’t been quite fully recovered from that.”


From Ben Bolch: The transfer portal has been so generous to UCLA, continually providing stars at positions of need, that sometimes it’s difficult to remember there is a flip side.

The Bruins received a harsh reminder Thursday evening when Caleb Johnson, one of their hardest-hitting inside linebackers, announced on Twitter that he had entered the transfer portal


“Thank you UCLA for the opportunity,” tweeted Johnson, who has one season of eligibility remaining. “Thank you to my teammates and coaches and all the fans!”

Johnson’s departure comes after spending a handful of spring practice alongside Darius Muasau, a transfer linebacker from Hawaii who was a candidate to take over as the starter at Johnson’s position.

Johnson had started 17 of 18 games over the last two seasons since his arrival from Fullerton College, leading the team in 2020 with 44 tackles and 5½ sacks while becoming a second-team All-Pac-12 selection by the Associated Press. Last season, Johnson logged 45 tackles and intercepted a pass but did not have any sacks.


Two Black coaches joined Brian Flores on Thursday in his lawsuit alleging racist hiring practices by the NFL toward coaches and general managers.

The updated lawsuit in Manhattan federal court added coaches Steve Wilks and Ray Horton.

Wilks alleges he was discriminated against by the Arizona Cardinals in 2018 and Horton claims he was subjected to discriminatory treatment when he interviewed for the Tennessee Titans’ head coaching position in January 2016.

The revised lawsuit from Flores also criticized the NFL for its response to the lawsuit he brought against it and its teams several weeks ago.



1935 — Gene Sarazen gets a double eagle on the 15th hole to erase Craig Wood’s three-stroke lead, then goes on to win the Masters.

1943 — The Detroit Red Wings beat the Boston Bruins 2-0 to win the Stanley Cup with a four-game sweep.

1956 — Jack Burke, Jr. comes back from eight strokes behind to beat Ken Venturi by one and win the Masters.

1971 — The first legal off-track betting (OTB) system in the United States opens in New York City.

1974 — In the home opener in Atlanta, Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth’s career record by hitting his 715th home run, connecting off Al Downing of Los Angeles in the fourth inning.

1975 — Frank Robinson, the first black manager in the majors, debuts as player-manager for the Cleveland Indians. Robinson hits a home run in his first at-bat — as a designated hitter — to help beat the New York Yankees 5-3.


1989 — Alex English scores 26 points to become the first player in NBA history to score 2,000 points in eight straight seasons, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Utah Jazz 110-106.

1990 — Nick Faldo becomes the second player to win consecutive Masters, beating Ray Floyd on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. Faldo joins Jack Nicklaus as the only repeat winner.

2001 — Tiger Woods claims the greatest feat in modern golf by winning the Masters, giving him a clean sweep of the four professional majors in a span of 294 days. Woods, with his winning score of 16-under 272, sweeps the majors with a combined score of 65-under.

2007 — Zach Johnson hits three clutch birdies on the back nine of Augusta National, to close with a 69 for a two-shot victory over Tiger Woods at the Masters.

2008 — Candace Parker, playing with an injured left shoulder, scores 17 points and grabs nine rebounds to help Tennessee capture its eighth women’s NCAA championship with a 64-48 victory over Stanford.

2013 — Luke Hancock makes all five of his 3-pointers and leads Louisville to its first NCAA men’s basketball championship since 1986 with a 82-76 victory over Michigan. Coach Rick Pitino adds this title to the one he won at Kentucky in 1996 and became the first coach to win a championship at two schools.


2017 — Damian Lillard scores a franchise-record 59 points and matches his career high with nine 3-pointers to help the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Utah Jazz 101-86.

And finally

Hank Aaron sets the all-time home run record, as called by Vin Scully. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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