Tiger Woods Cards Opening Round 69 at Hero World Challenge

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Even for Woods - the redshirted one who, with is unprecedented showreel, taught golf to ignore every barrier that had ever been there before - this seemed surreal.

After an opening round 69 it was more of the Woods we all know as he declared that he was confident he could win the Hero World Challenge.

His began with a par and after coming close on the opening two holes, picked up his first birdie of the day on the par-five third.

But this is very much the Tiger show.

The 14-time major victor carded an encouraging three-under 69 in his first competitive round for 10 months at the Albany Golf Course in New Providence on Thursday. He found 15 of 18 greens and 10 of 13 fairways, a displayed that evoked praise from Woods. He struggled with his chip shots, often faltering on the par 5s, that saw him placed at 1-under after the first nine holes.

"I proved that the surgery was successful and that the rehab was fantastic". "Now I have a chance to go out there and play competitive golf again". It just didn't stay there for long.

It's encouraging to see Woods taking this, the 10th comeback of his career, one step at a time.

The 14-time major champion, who has had four back operations in the past three years, finished tied for eighth in the 18-strong field with Englishman Tommy Fleetwood in the lead on 66.

But the best was still to come. For a brief stretch, that gave Woods the outright lead.

Woods built on a solid start in his return to golf by shooting 31 on the front nine at Albany Golf Club, only to stall on the back nine for a 4-under 68.

Woods reacts to a missed putt on the 12th green. The first five holes I hit a lot of good shots and felt like I had a good rhythm and a couple birdies early on.