Tiger Woods returns with mixed bag and a 73

Tiger Woods is hoping for a quick return to form

His confidence kept building - the flop shot from 40 yards to 5 feet for birdie on the par-5 sixth, the wedge to 5 feet for birdie on the seventh, and a 6-iron he struck so well on the par-3 eighth that he was asking for perfection.

But his mistakes, while not big misses, were costly.

Woods then hit a solid approach shot to reach the green in two, missed a long birdie putt before rolling in a routine three-footer for par.

Another par-5 bogey came at 11 and while Woods birdied the par-5 15th, he found a double-bogey disaster at the par-4 16th and pulled his tee shot into the water to set up his woes at the last.

Woods shot a 1-over-par 73 during the first round of the Hero World Challenge, an small-field, invitation-only event in The Bahamas that benefits his foundation.

While Woods has been absent from the PGA Tour for some time, the 14-time major champion played 11 tournaments last season, with his most recent appearance coming at the 2015 Wyndham Championship where he tied for 10th.

Woods himself could not contain his anger on the 18th tee at Albany, having watched a tee shot fly from the toe of his driver and into the water hazard.

"But overall, he's really close, and that's good to see".

The American benefitted from a double-bogey by Matsuyama, victor of the WGC-HSBC Champions in October, at the par-three eighth. "I'll be focused", Woods said.

Woods, who sits 17th out of 18 players, stated before the tournament that he had just started walking 18 holes, so fatigue could have played a factor in the poor finish to his once-promising round.

Woods' troubles Thursday began on the par-5 ninth hole - he tried to hug the left side of the fairway but tugged it into a bush. Then he chunked his chip - and the gallery gasped. If you drive great you can take advantage of this golf course, but if you don't you can end up in bushes or rocks and go sideways. Woods' par putt brought back a familiar scene: the entire gallery moving en masse even though Reed still needed to putt; Woods' caddie Joe LaCava had to instruct the hundred or so patrons ringing the green to remain still.

At +3300, Bovada thinks Woods has a better shot than defending Masters victor Danny Willett, as well as the likes of Matt Kuchar, Sergio Garcia, and 2011 champ Charl Schwartzel. "We all hope for many reasons that he comes back fully healthy and his game's fully back".

"There were some awkward shots, there's no doubt about it", Woods said.

The post Tiger makes strong start in return from 16-month layoff appeared first on The Independent Uganda:.

"All in all I felt pretty good and I'm looking forward to another three more days". "I got it pretty quick". "It's been a long time". He then postponed his return as a player twice and finally, at the Hero World Challenge, the world has the chance to see him play again.

"People around me who know me, my physicians, my friends, family, they know how hard it's been to get to this point".

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