Woods thrilled after competitive return

Woods thrilled after competitive return

Woods, playing his first round of tournament golf in 301 days, fired a three-under-par 69 in the opening round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas.

Playing competitively for the first time in 301 days, the 14-time major victor made five birdies at Albany Golf Club as he beat his effort when making a similar return in this event 12 months ago by four shots.

It took one round of three-under par for Vegas to start drinking the Tiger Woods Kool-Aid.

"I thought it was great", said Woods, who matched the round of his playing partner in PGA Tour's Player of the Year Justin Thomas. "It was fun to be out there and be part of a scorecard again".

FORMER world No.1 Tiger Woods has shown some encouraging sings in his return from injury after 10 months out of the game.

However Woods came roaring back after the turn, with birdies on the 10th, 13th and 14th to move to four under before a bogey on 16 halted his momentum.

Woods reacts to a missed putt on the 12th green
Woods reacts to a missed putt on the 12th green

He did pick up a shot at the third, and - after a trademark fist pump at the fourth - another birdie followed at the eighth as he appeared well set.

He outdrove his playing partner, this year's PGA Championship victor Justin Thomas, more often than not, capped an 18-yard putt to save par on No. 9 with a fist pump and finished just three shots out of the lead.

"I didn't know what I could do".

With the exception of the par-5 15th hole, where he pushed it way right resulting in one of two bogeys, it was a promising display off the tee for Woods. I had a lot of adrenaline going there. I had to dial it back a bit. "Those are the internal struggles I haven't had for a while".

The performance impressed leading coach Denis Pugh. "My fear was that his ball speed wouldn't be up there", said Denis Pugh in the Sky Sports studio. "The greatest player of his generation has come back at an age when comebacks aren't normal".

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