Monday Marquee: It’s early in the week, but Tiger, Freddie, and JT were sending roars around Augusta

AUGUSTA, Ga. — It was just shy of 3 p.m. on Monday afternoon by the time the day’s featured grouping headed to the 1st tee. But fans that were considering heading for the exits, worn out after hours in the sun, reconsidered as Fred Couples, Justin Thomas, and Tiger Woods headed from the range to the course.

For a few years now, Augusta National itself has been the main attraction at the Masters, and it was again for much of the day Monday. Fans milled about, blissfully wandering the mostly-empty property all morning, sort of like a national park but with more pastel clothes and craft beer.

But Tiger Woods overpowers the wattage of even the brightest golf course, and ageless fan favorite Fred Couples and recent fan frenemy Justin Thomas joined him for an afternoon nine three days before the year’s first major.

The first roar of the day was also its loudest; Woods launched his approach shot over the back of the par-5 2nd hole before hitting an oh-so-delicate chip that trickled back down the slope before falling in the front edge of the cup, sending the assembled masses into a frenzy.

“Oh,” one fan said by the clubhouse, three fairways over. “That’s where Tiger’s group is.”

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