updated 04/05/2010 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/05/2010 AT 11:00 AM ET
A quiet and respectful crowd of about 500 watched Woods tee off for a practice round with Fred Couples. An occasional shout of “Welcome back, Tiger!” came from the gallery. Woods acknowledge the fans with a nod and a smile, the Associated Press reports.
Officials at Augusta National, the Georgia golf course where Woods will play the Masters later this week, tell PEOPLE that they received “hundreds” of press requests, but are allowing only about 75 members of the media to attend.
Woods, 34, has mostly remained silent since the revelations that he had multiple affairs. He made a public apology on Feb. 19 in front of his family, friends and hand-picked members of the media. In March, he gave two five-minute TV interviews in the clubhouse of his home golf course of Isleworth to reporters of his own choosing.