Tiger Trying To Make The Cut At Torrey Pines

Tiger Woods looked solid at Torrey Pines

For five-time PGA Tour victor Patrick Reed, Woods' latest comeback offered reason to be optimistic."On the back nine, he looked solid and steady", Reed said.

"All I was trying to do over the last few holes was to get under par for the day", he said. "It was fun to be out there", Woods said. "And people started cheering".

Woods then had his fans at fever pitch with birdies at his 14th and 16th holes before delivering a silence in dropping a shot at his 17th for bogey.

Woods, 42, is playing his first official tournament in 51 weeks.

There just weren't enough cheers for his liking.

As Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry crashed out at Torrey Pines, the former world No 1 found just three fairways on the North Course and was three shots outside the one-under cut mark with nine holes to play before digging deep into his bag of trick. But forget how far Woods is from the leader - he's playing meaningful weekend golf again.

Since then Woods has battled back trouble that sidelined him for all of 2016.

When he finished it and the minor work it left, he had slogged through his last nine holes with four birdies, the kind of thing that can salvage a Friday. He kept his patience, chipped in for eagle at the turn, and then finished with a lovely approach to 12 feet on the par-5 eighth and a 20-foot birdie putt on the ninth. Decent second shot right of green and eagle chip swung right before he holed three-foot putt.

Even if no one's paying attention to the guys at the top of the leaderboard. "It was a hard putt".

His tee shot on No. 5 landed in a bunker. High-flop third ran 12 foot past pin and birdie putt limped inches left.

He played the par fives in even par, and didn't give himself any other birdie chances inside 15 feet. "I fought hard... and it felt good", Woods said. Unless you're at a major championship, we don't see crowds like this.

But there was no mistaking his presence.

This is only his second PGA Tour event since August 2015. A week later, he withdrew after a 77 in Dubai with back spasms and was gone again.

The biggest adjustment to having been gone for so long is scoring. From 216 yards out, though, his ball hit short of the green and bounced over a mound to reach the surface.

He mixed three birdies with two early bogeys at the Torrey Pines south course. That's no longer the case with the North getting a makeover two years ago, with bent greens that are firm this week and narrower fairways.

Starting on the par five tenth on the easier North Course - with a driveable par four to follow - should have offered Woods the ideal opportunity to make the fast start he needed after a so-so first round 72. Three under in nine holes may have seemed like a tall order for the 14-time major champion at first, but he answered the call. They shortened the season-opening event to 54 holes in an attempt to complete play Sunday, and didn't rule out a Monday finish. The par fives are very reachable for me hitting some irons in there.

"I thought it was incredible", he said.

"I've been away from the game for a couple years, so it's nice to get out there and just compete again". He tapped in for birdie to get back to plus-1, six shots off the lead.

Rahm can become the new world number one with victory in the tournament and followed his opening 68 with a 66.

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