Tiger Woods is up and down in return to competition

It didn't take long for Tiger Woods to shake off the rust.

In his first competitive round of golf since August 2015, Woods shot a one-over 73 at the Hero World Challenge, a tournament that benefits his foundation, in Nassau, Bahamas, on Thursday.

He got off to a strong start, sinking three consecutive birdies on the front nine at Albany Golf Club before making the turn with a 3-under 33.

 

 

But then things started to take a turn for the worse. On No. 11, he was forced to take a drop from an unplayable lie and bogeyed the hole. He made a double bogey on the 16th. On the 18th, he hit it into the water and settled for a double bogey.

Woods said he felt pretty good after the round.

“If you think about it, I hit the ball in three bushes and [had] a water ball today," he said in an interview with Golf Channel. "It could have been something really good today. I got off to a nice solid start and made a few mistakes there. I didn’t play the par-5s very well in the middle part of the round, and consequently I got it going the wrong way.”

J.B. Holmes was the first-round leader with a 64.

After undergoing two back surgeries, Woods has taken his time returning to competitive golf. In October, he withdrew from the Safeway Open in Napa, Calif., saying his game was "vulnerable and not where it needs to be."

This week he's been relaxed and confident. The one thing he said he wanted to work on before Thursday's round was putting.

“My speed’s off. I did some work two and three days ago, but the greens were double cut and now they're single cut, different speed," he said after Wednesday's pro-am. "Most of my putts I left short. The last couple holes I made a couple putts and I was telling Joey I'm going to hit it at least four, five feet past the hole, I don't care, and they were going about a foot past."

Copyright 2016 USA TODAY Sports


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