AFP

Tiger Woods hits one-over 73 on return to golf in Bahamas

Tiger Woods hits one-over 73 on return to golf in Bahamas
By Tom Bennett via Reuters

01/12/2016 at 22:56

Tigers Woods made a string of birdies on the front nine to grab a brief share of the lead in the Bahamas, only to fall away on the back nine.

Woods made a sizzling start to his first competitive round in nearly 16 months as he mixed four birdies and a single bogey on the front nine at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Woods, who had been sidelined from competition due to a chronic back injury, looked relaxed and a lot like the former world number one who dominated the sport before his health woes as he briefly put his name atop the leaderboard.

Greeted by applause from a small gallery, Woods, dressed all in black except for a white glove, calmly stepped up to the par-four first hole on a blustery day at the exclusive Albany course on the island of New Providence.

Woods pulled his opening drive left and narrowly avoided a fairway bunker but then hit a solid approach shot to reach the green in two.

The 14-times major champion then missed a long birdie putt before rolling in a routine three-footer for par and more polite applause.

After another par at the second Woods began a charge with a tap in birdie at the par-five third.

The 40-year-old then shifted into top gear with a run of three consecutive birdies, capped with a three-footer at the eighth, to move into a share of the lead.

The only blemish at the midway mark came on the par-five ninth where Woods sent his tee shot deep into the scrub.

He punched out then missed his approach, botched a greenside pitch on way to taking a six to make the turn at three-under 33 and sit three back of J.B. Holmes who was six-under through 11.

However, Tiger started the back nine with a bogey and followed it up with double bogeys on the 16th and 18th to finish the round nine shots off the pace.

With no midway cut Woods will get four rounds to assess his comeback before deciding on where and when he will return to the US PGA Tour.

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