Tiger Woods Shoots 69 in Hero World Challenge Round 1 in Return from Back Injury

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – NOVEMBER 30: Tiger Woods of the United States lines up a putt on the seventh green during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

In his first round of competitive golf in 301 days, Tiger Woods finished with a three-under 69 at the 2017 Hero World Challenge on Thursday.

Woods last played Feb. 2 in the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic when he shot a 77. The 41-year-old withdrew from the tournament the following day due to back spasms that later required surgery to alleviate the pain.

Woods wasted no time testing his surgically repaired back with this tee shot on the 423-yard first hole:

Any doubts about Woods’ ability to crush the ball were squashed within the first three holes. He followed that opening tee shot by reaching the green in two shots on the 572-yard third hole, which led to his first birdie.

The first real indication that this version of Woods looks to be in much better spirits than the last time we saw him 10 months ago came on No. 4 when he saved par and celebrated the moment in vintage fashion:

Woods came into the Hero World Challenge trying to manage expectations, simply stating he wanted to make it through Sunday.

“I’m just looking forward to getting through these four rounds and having a better understanding of where I’m at,” he said (via Karen Crouse of the New York Times).

Woods is also avoiding talking about what his tournament schedule for the 2017-18 PGA Tour season might look like, via the Golf Channel’s Tiger Tracker:


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