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Tiger Woods gets friendly reception from Masters gallery

April 5, 2010 | 11:08 am
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Jim Furyk didn't expect the most respectful fans in golf to heckle Tiger Woods. And they didn't disappoint.

"It was extremely positive," Furyk said of the atmosphere surrounding Woods' practice round Monday morning. "I expected it to be positive, but it was probably even better."

Furyk, who joined Woods and Fred Couples on No. 13, said he felt Woods was more outgoing than he had been before the sex scandal that rocked his world.

"I think the crowd was probably a little more chatty with him, and he responded," Furyk said.
Furyk said that any time Couples is in a group, the vibe is loose.

"Freddie never gets too upset or hyper about much," Furyk said. "Nothing gets too serious. Tiger's probably a little on edge just with not playing and trying to get his game sharp and this (course) being so severe."

Woods didn't appear sharp for much of the round, hitting a number of errant tee shots. He ended well, though, with a strong drive on No. 17 and two perfect shots to the 18th green. He then casually converted a 10-footer for birdie.

"I thought he hit his irons well," Furyk said. "He had a few loose drives. He was all right."

Woods acknowledged some patrons as walked off the 18th green. You could say he made eye contact, but he was wearing shades.

Woods will address the media at 1 p.m. CDT in a news conference expected to be aired on networks including ESPN News, Golf Channel, CNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC.

"It will be nice for him to get rid of it and talk to you guys," said Couples, while enveloped by a throng of reporters outside the clubhouse. "I find it weird that I'm surrounded by 100 people myself."
-- Teddy Greenstein