Forgettable start for Tiger Woods on return

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Orlando (Florida), Dec 5: A rusty Tiger Woods had a forgettable day on his comeback and he lay at the bottom of the heap after carding a five-over 77 even as Jordan Spieth took the lead with a six-under on the opening day of the Hero World Challenge golf tournament, here.

The 38-year-old Woods, making a comeback after a four-month injury lay-off, stumbled to five bogeys and a double bogey. However, the big solace for the American legend was that his back held well. Watched and followed throughout by the maximum number of fans, Woods began by an Out-of-Bounds (OB) at his tee shot in the very first hole.

Tiger Woods had a forgettable day

However, the five-time champion at this event escaped with a bogey. It was only on the back-nine that Woods found a little bit of his touch, striking his first birdie in the par-4 12th hole. It could have been an eagle but he missed it by a whisker.

He had a great swing in the next to find the greens but fluffed two chips after his ball caught a slope and eventually settled for a bogey on the par-five hole. Fortunately, the bogey-streak ended there and he managed par scores in the last five holes. But that was not good enough to catch up with others and he remained at the bottom of the leaderboard.

"Today was weird. I didn't feel like I did that bad. Short game was awful. Didn't make anything. But I missed it a few times on the front nine on the wrong side, just sides you can't miss it on, like on 2. But it was just one of those days where really nothing went my way. Hit two of the best shots I could possibly hit on 13 and I walk away with a 6," Woods said after day's play.

Asked what positives he would take from the day's play, he replied his "shot patterns were fantastic". "And as I think all of you saw, I got my power back and I got my speed back. It's nice to be able to start launching it again. That's a very good sign."

Woods said he surprised himself by playing such bad chip shots. "Well, it certainly is surprising that I could hit chips that poorly. I flubbed them. What was it, three of them I flubbed? Took too much off the bunker shot on 7, tried to get too cute with it, and just made too many mistakes. They were all mainly around the green."

PTI

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