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AUGUSTA, Ga. (CBSMiami/AP) — The 82nd Masters has begun.

Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player officially got the tournament started Thursday morning with the ceremonial tee shot.

Player, 82, took the first swing followed by the 78-year-old Nicklaus under a clear, sunny sky with the temperature in the 40s. It is expected to be in the high 60s by the afternoon.

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley told the crowd crammed around the first tee how privileged they were to have the duo with nine green jackets to start the tournament.

Wesley Bryan, Austin Cook, Ted Potter Jr. were the first group to tee off when play began.

A short time later, Tiger Woods got his first birdie at the Masters in nearly three years.

Woods almost drove the green at the par-4 No. 3, pitched to about 10 feet and made the putt to set off a huge “Tiger Roar” at Augusta National.

gettyimages 942308172 Masters Hype Underway As Tiger Woods Drives Well

Tiger Woods plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

It was Woods’ first competitive birdie at the famed course since April 12, 2015, at No. 15 in the final round of the Masters. He finished tied for 17th.

Woods gave the stroke back on the next hole when his tee shot found a greenside bunker. He chipped out and missed a 20-footer for par.

Woods looks healthy again and looking very much ready to contend for a fifth green jacket.

The competition is so steep that four players have a chance to be No. 1 in the world.

Phil Mickelson is coming off a World Golf Championship victory and trying to become the oldest Masters champion at age 47.

Rory McIlroy is looking to complete the career Grand Slam.

Sergio Garcia is the defending champion.

Dustin Johnson is the world’s top-ranked player.

Justin Thomas has seven wins since the beginning of 2017.

Jordan Spieth already has three major titles, including the 2015 Masters.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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