AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods began pursuit of a record 24th consecutive made cut at the Masters with a birdie on Thursday, though the five-time champion with the fused ankle and long injury history believes he is still capable of so much more by Sunday.

Drawing a massive crowd nearly three decades after his first trip around Augusta National, the 48-year-old Woods hit a huge, sweeping fade up the first hole to begin his round. Woods then stuck his approach shot to 8 feet and made the slight bender to get into the red numbers on a day when those who went off early were going low.

Woods had to follow his brilliant start with some impressive scrambling. He hit a wayward tee shot into the trees left of No. 2, punched back into the fairway, hit his approach shot over the green and had to get up and down from there for par.

Onward he went, the ankle he had fused last year only giving him a small hitch in his gait. The bigger question remains how Woods’ back, which has undergone five procedures over the years, will hold up over 18 holes and beyond.

“If everything comes together, I think I can get one more,” Woods said earlier in the week. He paused briefly before adding, “Do I need to describe that any more than that, or are we good?”

The first round was delayed 2 1/2 hours by weather Thursday, which meant Woods — playing with Jason Day and Max Homa four groups from the end — did not tee off until 3:54 p.m. local time, after many early starters had already finished their rounds.

It also meant that Woods was unlikely to finish his opening round before dark.

Woods is tied for the record for cuts made at the Masters with three-time champion Gary Player, who had 23 straight beginning in 1959, and 1992 champion Fred Couples, whose own streak lasted until 2007.

Woods had to fight to make the cut the last year, when the ankle he shattered in a 2021 car crash caused so much trouble. He bogeyed three of his first seven holes, battled to shoot an opening 74, then had to slog his way through heavy rain, cold weather and delays to finish off a second-round 73 on Saturday and make the cut on the number.

Woods also began his third round Saturday but was unable to complete it before dark. He withdrew before resuming it Sunday, ending his streak of completing all 72 holes of every tournament he had played at Augusta National as a professional.

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