Tiger Woods Impresses at Hero World Challenge
He may be down, he may be out, but Tiger Woods is making an encouraging return to the world of professional golf. Tiger carded an impressive opening round of 69 at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. Making his first appearance since February, the world number 1199 mixed it up with five birdies and two bogies to stay in contention, just three strokes off Tommy Fleetwood who leads the pack.
Showing no signs of discomfort, Woods looked impressive off the tee and on the green. He had a couple of rusty chips shots and failed to take advantage of the par-five holes but that was really the only concern for the day. His opening drive bounced out of bunker and safely onto the fairway. He recovered well, pitching the twelve feet before slotting in a perfect birdy putt.
The former world No 1 then clocked a par on the second followed by a birdy on the third where he found the green in two and putted two from 40 feet. On the fourth, the approach dropped short and he under hit his chip. However, he sank a 20-footer to pull back to par. Woods then completed the par-five fifth with due diligence as well as the sixth with a two-putt par from 20 feet out. He followed it up with 25-foot gain to par the seventh.
A Mixed Bag for the Former Champ
Heading into the ninth, Tiger was just two of the pace but duffed a short chip to record his first bogey of the day. Proving he still has the tenacity to compete at a top level, Woods then responded with a 15-foot birdie on the 10th. The 11th hole didn’t go as planned as he sent his approach long and fairly wide of the fairway. A short chip took him to the far side of the green where he managed to recover with a par.
The 12th was heading in the same dangerous territory as the 11th but the former champ manged to save par yet again. He came back yet again with a 15-foot birdy on the 13th, putting him one shot off the lead. The seesaw continued as he fluffed his drive on the 15th, dropping a bogey-six but managing to par the 17th. Tiger got a tough break on the final hole with a difficult lie close to the green. A brilliant pitch put him 5-feet away, which he duly sank to finish sub-70 for the first round.
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