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Tiger Woods cools after red-hot start in Round 1 at Hero World Challenge

It’s been 466 days since Tiger Woods has played competitive golf. In his first tournament back at the Hero World Challenge he got off to a blistering start. This particular golf tournament was founded in 1999 by Woods. It is played each December and features some of the top-ranked golfers in the world. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation.

FRONT NINE

After pulling his opening tee shot that was broadcast live on The Golf Channel, Woods settled for par on the first two holes.

Tiger then went on a nostalgic putting run rolling in four birdies on his next six holes to tie for the lead at 5-under. Here’s his tee shot to set up birdie on the 8th.

On the par-5 9th hole, Woods tried to cut a driver down the left-hand side and ride the wind. He hit the dreaded straight shot and saw his ball land in the dune grass far left of the fairway. After a pitch out back in play, Tiger missed the green left with a 4 iron. After leaving his first chip woefully short of the green, Tiger clipped his next chip attempt to 4 feet. He was able to sink that putt for a bogey.

Front Nine Recap

  • 3/6 fairways hit
  • 7/9 GIR (greens in regulation)
  • 13 putts
  • Score: 3-under (33).

BACK NINE

In previous injury comeback attempts, Tiger had struggled mightily with chipping and dealing with adversity. How would he respond after his first bogey of the round on No. 9? Woods hit a solid drive in the fairway and then hit a knockdown 8-iron to the green. Two putts later, Tiger was in for par and starting the back nine off on the right foot.

The wobbly swings continued on the 11th hole. A wayward 2nd shot required a drop from an unplayable lie. He was able to place his 4th shot to about 18 feet, but, the putt slid past the hole for another bogey. The dropped shot moved Tiger back to -2 on the day.

After pars on No. 12 and 13, Woods found trouble on the drive-able 14th as his tee shot lands pin high left in a sandy waste area. His approach flew the green and ended up in a bunker. The sand shot rolled to 15 feet and Tiger rolled in a spectacular par-saving putt (accompanied by a small fist pump) to stay at 2-under.

Tiger flushed an iron approach on No. 15 to about 12 feet. Woods just missed the eagle putt as it slid by on the right. The following tap-in birdie was good to bring his score back to 3-under.

It appeared that Tiger had weathered the storm and had some momentum going his way. However, a pulled 5-iron approach put him back in a bush left of the green. He had to chip out backward and went on to make double bogey. Woods found himself -1 with 2 holes to play.

A routine 2-putt par on No. 17 put Tiger on the No. 18 tee still at 1-under. Looking to bite off a little more off the tee, Woods dumped a driver in the water to the left of the fairway. His drop found a bad lie in the deep rough and Tiger played a safe approach to the front of the green. His chip hit the flag-stick and spun back to over 15 feet for bogey. A 2-putt from there secured a double bogey on No. 18.

Final Stats

  • 6/13 fairways hit
  • 11/18 GIR
  • 29 putts
  • Score: +1 (73)

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