Friday, 19 October, 2018

Woods opens with 69 at Hero World Challenge

Tiger Woods drives from the third tee in the Hero Classic Mike Ehrmann Tiger Woods drives from the third tee in the Hero Classic
Betsy Taylor | 02 December, 2017, 01:37

"They seemed to be a foot faster", Woods told The Golf Channel, adding that he was satisfied with his fitness following back surgery in April.

The biggest problem Woods appears to be facing is simply stamina.

NASSAU, Bahamas - Tiger Woods offered a blast from the past on Friday afternoon - and just maybe a glimpse into the future. But that is proving hard considering how well he is playing at the Hero World Challenge.

Hoffman, at 12 under, leads by three over Jordan Spieth and Tommy Fleetwood with a further shot back to Justin Rose while Woods, Hideki Matsuyama, Francesco Molinari, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar are in a share of 5th at 7 under.

Coming into the tournament, we wanted to see if Woods was really healthy this time, as the pre-tournament reports indicated. Check out this drive on No. 15. Today he is paired with Henrik Stenson. Does this look like a swing from somebody who is anxious about their back?

Unfortunately, he bogeyed the next hole and then made par for the rest of the back nine until he bogeyed the 18th which put took a bit of gloss off his mostly, excellent round.

Tiger Woods and caddie Joe La Cava walk on the second hole during the second round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany
Mike Ehrmann Tiger Woods and caddie Joe La Cava walk on the second hole during the second round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Bahamas

His second shot was from 271 yards out and he attacked it without any hesitation. For a brief stretch, that gave Woods the outright lead.

Check out the touch on this shot.

Woods captivated the golf world by tallying birdies on three of his first four holes and making eagle at the par-5 9th to shoot 5-under 31 on the front nine.

On the par-five third his eagle putt from just off the green went just wide but left him with an easy birdie.

Asked if he was close to his past level of play, Woods quickly halted such chatter.

Woods, who is returning at the 18-man tournament after a lengthy layoff caused by a back injury, said he had struggled with the speed of the greens throughout. "A lot more practice, a lot more training and more tournaments".


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