Is it the azaleas, the white sand traps or just some sort of magic in the air in Augusta, Georgia? Theres something special about Tiger Woods playing in the Masters, and the five-time winner had an outstanding first round Thursday, shooting a 4-under 68 to trail leader Paul Casey by three strokes.

Tiger was so stellar in his debut round that for the first time in 23 tries at this tournament, he shot a bogey-free round. Its also the only round of tournament golf hes played all year where he did not record a bogey, an incredible accomplishment on a challenging course as he battled back stiffness and other ailments throughout the year.

“I did everything well,” Woods said. “I drove it well, hit my irons well, putted well. The only real bad shot I hit today, I think, was on [No. 8]. I had a perfect number [68 yards] with a 60-degree sand wedge and hit it on the wrong shelf. “Other than that, I just did everything well. The only thing I could say is that I wish I could have made a couple more putts. Missed everything on the high side. Putts just aren’t moving, so it’s just different with as slow as they are, then with the weather delay, the amount of rain they’ve had.”

Theres something magical [he already stated this in the first two sentences] that happens with Tiger on this course, and he actually caught a break with the 2 hour and 57 minute dangerous-weather delay this morning that pushed his tee-time to 11 a.m.

As comfortable as Tiger always is in this tournament, it will be interesting to see how things go the next three rounds with the spectator-free environment. No athlete seems to thrive off a crowds energy more than Tiger when he plays at the Masters, and he wont have that pushing him as the tourney progresses.

For anyone that would love to see Tiger put on a sixth green jacket, hes off to a great start.

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