Tiger Woods practices at Masters, and Fred Couples were impressed

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Couples had no plans to play on Monday. Then he got a text Sunday night.

“Dude, we’re playing at 3:00 tomorrow, see you on the tee.”

Couples couldn’t say no to Tiger Woods.

So at 2:45 pm local time, the 1992 Masters champion was joined on the first tee by the five-time Masters winner and the 2017 PGA champion Justin Thomas.

Patrons 5-10 deep enclosed the entire first hole, the first indication that this wasn’t going to be any ordinary Monday afternoon practice round at the Masters. In fact, Sunday Masters arrived six days early as the galleries and the waves of people following Woods and his playing partners were as large as ever seen at Augusta National Golf Club.

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Justin Thomas (from left), Tiger Woods and Fred Couples walk off the no.  8 tee box during a practice round of The Masters.

Few if any were disappointed. Especially Couples.

“He looked phenomenal,” Couples said after the nine holes. “He’s my favorite guy. What impresses me the most is he was bombing it for one. If you want to talk golf, he was bombing it. I know JT is not the longest hitter on the Tour, but I know he’s damn long. He was with him flushing it.

“It’s a Monday, right, but he didn’t miss many shots.”

Woods showed no signs of injury — there was no grimacing, no limping. The scorecard didn’t matter as Woods was more concerned with putting his right leg through another test for what he hopes is the ultimate exam come Thursday in the 86th edition of the Masters.

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