Tiger struggles on back nine in first round back
nassau, bahamas» Not only did Tiger Woods return to golf Thursday, he returned to being Tiger. Just not for long. Hardly looking like a player who had not competed in 466 days, Woods ran off three straight birdies with a variety of shots and was tied for the lead in the Hero World Challenge as he approached the turn.
Three shots in the bushes, one shot in the water and a few fits of anger sent him toward the bottom of the pack. Two double bogeys over the final three holes ruined an otherwise impressive return, and Woods shot 40 on the back nine at Albany Golf Club and had to settle for a 1-over 73.
He was in 17th place in the 18-man field. Only Justin Rose had a higher score.
Even so, Woods has reason to be encouraged. After taking off 15 months to recover from two back surgeries, he felt no pain or limitations. His misses were not big, just costly. And he was playing again.
“It could have been something really good,” Woods said. “I got off to a nice, solid start and made a few mistakes there.”
He was nine shots behind J.B. Holmes, who opened with an 8-under 64 and had a one-shot lead over Hideki Matsuyama, with U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson at 66.
TigerWoods plays in his first round of competitive golf in 466 days Thursday at the Hero World Challenge at Albany in the Bahamas. Christian Petersen, Getty Images