Woods launches comeback with even par round at Torrey Pines

Ruben Hill
Января 26, 2018

The 14-time major champion underwent a fourth serious back surgery previous year, and was absent for 10 months before playing December's Hero World Challenge - where he placed ninth in the 18-strong field at the unofficial PGA Tour event. He went bunker-to-bunker in taking a par.

Drilled three-wood down the middle but second (134 to pin) took a hard bounce and went through the green. On No. 6, he almost made an eagle putt and extended his arm as if he might, leaving a tap-in for birdie.

Another drive tugged left and it lands in the fairway bunker. 9-iron from 148 yards finds greenside bunker.

From the tee on par-3 No. 16, he gave his trailing crowd a thrill for which it had waited much of the day. Can not get within 20 feet with splash-out from distance, birdie putt wide right. Terrific pitching wedge inside 2 feet for easy birdie. After getting onto the green, his three-foot par putt lipped out. Nice lag putt to a few inches, easy PAR. It made up for probably the biggest disappointment of the round, his bogey on the par-5 No. 13, when he found a green-side bunker from a valley in the fairway, then let out a worthy expletive, then saw a harrowing three-foot downhill put lip out on the left of the cup.

A gallery of about two thousand people lined the first fairway to watch the 14-times major champion tee off at 10.40 AM local time (1840 GMT).

The 42-year-old is on the comeback trail after undergoing apparently successful spinal fusion surgery on his lower back last April. Putt breaks right, but it's another solid PAR. 4-iron from 252 yards finds green.

Bad three-wood off the tee, blocked into the right rough.

Earlier, he cursed when his tee shot on No. 5 landed in a bunker and grimaced when he overshot the green on the second hole.

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