Woods offers flashes of brilliance but admits feeling rusty and sore after competitive comeback

Fatiha Betscher
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Tiger Woods (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Fatiha Betscher

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Tiger Woods ended a near eight-month competitive absence showing a few signs of brilliance but remarking his game was rusty and he was feeling sore after day one of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Woods posted three birdies, five bogeys and a 15th hole double-bogey in his round of a three-over 75 that has him lying 18th in the elite $US 4.5m 20 player field competing on the Albany course.

It left him trailing eight shots behind the leading duo of Tony Finau and Open Champion Brian Harman who signed for five-under 67s in the bright and slighty windy conditions.

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Woods got one of the more-anticipated rounds of golf this year underway with a pair of pars before a great birdie at the par-5 third hole, however, he gave the shot back at the next before then proceeding to birdie five but drop one at the next.

If there was one example of Woods brilliance it was when he holed a 30-footer for birdie at the par-5 11th hole but only to hand back the shot at the next.

Woods then got back to one-under with a birdie at 14.

On the flipside of his brilliance at 11, if there was one really rusty shot it was Woods’ wild drive off the next hole, the par-5 15th when he ball landed well into bushes from where he hacked it (And using the F*** word), only to walk off with double-bogey 7.

His game continued to look sloppy with back-to-back bogeys on 16, where he played a poor chip shot (And again using the F*** word), and also at 17 ahead of a closing par.

Woods’ round included hitting six of 13 fairways, 10 greens in regulation and taking 30 putts.

“Yeah, you know, I was pretty rusty”, Woods said.

“I got off to a decent start. I didn’t play the par 5s particularly well all day. I was telling Todd (Lewis – Golf Channel) over there I had really a lack of commitment through most of the middle part of my round and finishing.

“I just didn’t quite commit to what I was doing and feeling”.

As for how he feels?

“I’m sore, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve got some work to do tonight”, said Woods.

“Tomorrow get back in the gym and activate and get ready for it. Hopefully hit some better shots.

“And now I know mentally what I need to do better. I think that’s something that physically I knew I was going to be OK. Mentally, I was really rusty and made a lot of errors in the mind that normally I don’t make.

“As I said earlier this week, I was going to have to have this ankle either replaced or fused at some point. It just wore out and I was dealing with bone on bone for a number of months. I don’t have to worry about that anymore”.

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