Masters 2012: Tiger Woods Faces Uphill Road To Fifth Green Jacket

Tiger Woods entered the 2012 Masters with momentum derived from a victory at Bay Hill a fortnight ago and as the betting favorite to capture his fifth green jacket. But after a lackluster first round on Thursday, Tiger must stalk the leaders to make that happen. At Augusta, he's used to that.

Woods shot an even-par 72 in his first round, good for a tie for 29th on a day that coughed up a slew of red numbers; it's the first time since 2005 that he hasn't been in the top 25 after Thursday at Augusta. But it's also not a bizarre new wrinkle for Woods to start slow in The Masters: all of his four wins included first rounds in the 70s (70s in 1997, 2000 and 2001, and a 74 in 2005).

And Tiger has historically turned it on in the second and third rounds at Augusta, firing 66s in all four of his victories and 65s in two of them, while never recording a round of 70 or worse in a Masters triumph.

All of that is to say this: Woods' slow start does not dash his green jacket dreams, but a failure to get in gear on Friday and Saturday could.

You can view the live Masters leaderboard here.

For more on the 2012 Masters, check out SB Nation's golf page and this StoryStream.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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