Tiger Woods ties for the lead

Esther Moore
December 2, 2017

There was a fine approach to five feet on the first, a two-putt birdie from 30 feet on the par-five third and a brilliant second shot to four feet on the third.

After his round, Woods spoke with Golf Channel's Todd Lewis and said he felt he played well.

After a solid first round 69 on Thursday, Woods got off to a flying start on Friday, reeling off three birdies in the opening four holes.

There were signs of vintage Tiger during his first round of competitive golf in 301 days after recovering from a fourth back surgery.

It just didn't stay there for long.

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.

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"I hadn't played in a while but it was fun to play with a scorecard in hand again".

"I proved that the surgery was successful", he said, referring to the spinal fusion that he had in April, which knocked him out of commission for the rest of the season.

"I think everyone was hoping for the best, but yes, this is better than what we thought would happen", said Joe LaCava, Woods' caddie. After a massive drive on the ninth, Woods rifled a 3-wood from 275 yards to 18 feet and canned the putt for eagle. I really did struggle with my speed.

"I hadn't played in a while after some of the difficulties I've been through". "A lot more practice, a lot more training and more tournaments".

From there, he pitched to approximately 15 feet and burned the left edge with his birdie putt.

Spieth had seven birdies and two bogeys during Friday's round. A few more pars followed as Woods was all business - nearly expressionless and clearly enjoying his return after 10 months - before providing a peek into his famous fist-pump on the par-3 eighth.

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