AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods has teed off at the Masters for the first time in three years.

The 42-year-old Woods was first off the first tee in his group, which includes Marc Leishman and Tommy Fleetwood. Woods pulled a 3-wood left into the pine straw, a common landing spot for him over the years at Augusta National.

Woods had the typically huge gallery following him to start the tournament. No surprise given it's his first competitive round at Augusta since 2015. Woods has been away from golf for much of the last few years because of his four back surgeries. The Masters is his first major since the PGA Championship in August 2015.

Only last year, Woods had trouble just sitting through the dinner at the Masters Club of past champions because of pain from his lower back shooting down his legs. That hurt about as much as being at Augusta National without his clubs for the second straight year, not knowing when or even if he would return.

Woods has been competitive in several events since his return this season.

The 82nd Masters got underway Thursday morning with a ceremonial tee shot by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

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