Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Tiger winds back the clock with ridiculous shot

Tiger winds back the clock with ridiculous shot

The 42-year-old turned in his first Thursday red number in his nascent comeback, a one-under 71 that left the 14-time major victor in T-8. "There are some tournaments when about four holes you don't make a birdie, you feel like you're behind".

It made for an awkward stance to say the least and Woods would make contact with the tree as he made his escape, but luckily there was no serious injury.

Woods got off to a dream start on the 560-yard par-five first hole, reaching the green in three to set up a tap-in for an easy birdie.

"I know people are saying that I've been erratic, a little inconsistent".

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth struggled, carding a 74 and 76 respectively.

Not since easing to a comprehensive victory at the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational has Woods - who has been derailed by back woes - celebrated a win but Mickelson has backed the 14-time major champion to do so at the Valspar Championship, where he is three strokes off the pace.

Woods applauded Mickelson's playoff win at last week's World Golf Championship in Mexico over PGA Championship victor Thomas.

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"I enjoy when par is a good score". Today, you know, made a couple birdies, all of a sudden that puts me fourth, fifth right away.

Woods is trying to get his game ready for the Masters, and without being eligible for the two World Golf Championships in the spring, he needed a place to play.

His short game was particularly impressive, nearly holing a flop shot from the rough at the par-five first, which led to a tap-in birdie and set a positive tone for the round.

"It didn't feel very good", he said. "For me, I'm ecstatic to have a chance to play again and to have a chance to win golf tournaments and compete". "I've only played 10 rounds", said Woods, who missed the cut at Riviera and tied for 23rd at Torrey Pines in his first two events of the year.

"I didn't hit my hand". The 42-year-old proved his fitness and, just as importantly, the confidence he has in his body, on the 16th when he managed to save par despite having to slam his club into a tree in the process of his approach to the par four.

"What Phil's doing is showing that we can still do it later on in our careers", Woods told reporters on Wednesday. Into the wind it felt we hit walls out there. "I drove it well". I really controlled the ball well for most of the day. I don't pretend to be a course architecture expert, but it seems like Woods thrives right now when driver is taken out of his hands and he has to hit flush iron shots.

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