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Masters 2015: For Tiger Woods the impossible once again seems feasible

Former champion starts with three birdies in four holes and finishes four under after playing his best golf at Augusta since 2011

At 2.30 in the afternoon, Tiger Woods walked up on to the crest of the ridge that stands on the 2nd fairway. It is a high spot and once you reach it Augusta National unfolds in front of you, spreading out beneath your feet as though the designers, Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie, had thrown it out like a picnic blanket across the countryside. Woods stood alone, staring down at the green, silhouetted against the sky, a master surveying his domain. His next shot was superb. It landed just in front of the right bunker. The one after that was better still. A chip that came to a stop four feet from the hole. A putt, a birdie and Augusta erupted.

On Tuesday, back when no one really knew what shape his game was in, and some even reckoned that he had the yips, Woods explained what it was he loved about playing here. “Out there, it’s just a player and a caddie and that’s it,” he said. “Inside the ropes, it’s really just us. There’s something very special about it.” For 60 minutes or so, it really did feel like Woods had the run of Augusta to himself. For that little period he played the kind of golf that won him four titles here. As Woods put it, he “got it going”, and for a time it seemed he was going to make a run at Jordan Spieth’s lead. “I had my chances to make this a really special round today,” Woods said. “I had, man, I had it going there for a little bit.”

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