Woods: I played better than I scored

After scrambling for a one-over 73 on his opening Masters round, Tiger Woods reflected on missed opportunities.

Tiger Woods   -  (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods believes he played better than his score suggested upon his return to the Masters.

The four-time green jacket winner is playing at Augusta for the first time since 2015 having returned to form and fitness following several back injuries, and scrambled to a one-over 73 through his opening 18 holes.

"I definitely didn't score as well as I played," Woods told ESPN after his round. 

"I hit the ball better than my score indicates. I have to play par fives better and get off to a better start. It should be a bunched leaderboard by the end of the week, so it's going to be pretty crowded."

Woods, who fell to three over through 12 holes, rallied with two late birdies to remain within touching distance of the leaders. 

"It was interesting, it was up and down for me today," Woods added. "I had some opportunities to make some birdies and didn't do it. 

"I played the par fives very sloppily, even par, that was the difference today."

Woods' last Augusta win came in 2005, but Woods says he is in good shape as he bids to end a 10-year major drought.

"I feel good," he said. "This golf course will take it out of you. 

"The only level shot is tee shots, and then always trying to do something with the golf ball on some sort of slope. I understood I had to practice some of those, and it was awesome [to be back here]."

Playing alongside Woods, Marc Leishman flirted with the top of the leaderboard for most of his round, finishing with a two-under 70. 

A double-bogey seven on the par-five 15th was the only thing separating Leishman from an elite first round.

"I drove the ball well   did everything pretty well, actually, just that one chip on 15," Leishman said

"But, yeah, happy with where the game's at, my head's in a good spot, feeling good, not letting things get away from me. 

"It would have been easy to get pretty annoyed after 15 there, especially from where I hit the tee shot, but yeah, feeling good, body's feeling good, so I'm ready to go."