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Last week, Tiger Woods sent the golf world into a frenzy when he announced that he was once again fit to play tournament golf. The 15-time major champion had been absent from the PGA Tour since missing the cut at the Open Championship in July 2022 but has made his comeback this week at the Genesis Invitational.
Woods is the host of the event at the Riviera Golf Course in Southern California and is just one of a number of big names taking part. On day one of the tournament, the 47-year-old made headlines for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, his game looked in good shape. Considering he hasn’t played a competitive round of golf in nearly nine months, he looked as assured as ever and finished with a two-under-part score of 69.
For a serial winner like Woods, his eyes will be firmly set on winning the tournament and after round one he is just five shots adrift of the in-form Max Homa and Keith Mitchell at the top of the leaderboard.
I'm ready to play an ACTUAL PGA Tour event next week @thegenesisinv
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) February 10, 2023
A strong finish to complete his round
What will please Woods the most is how he finished his round on day one. After mixing three bogies with the birdies across the first 15 holes, the American ended with two birdies from the last three holes to ensure he finished two under-par.
Speaking after his round, Woods told reporters that he was pleased with how he had played. He said:
“I was able to fight back and get it going, it was a nice finish. That’s the only reason why I tee it up. There will come a point in time when I can’t do this anymore, but right now I feel like I still can, given the right golf course.
There’s nothing like game time, the feeling of the butterflies, and trying to calm all that stuff down. With adrenaline, the ball goes further so I had to dial all that back in.”
Woods was part of a star-studded group on day one, playing alongside Justin Thomas and Rory Mcilroy. The Northern Irishman has extra incentive this week as he looks to return to the top of golf’s world rankings at the first time of asking after losing it to Scottie Scheffler last week at the Phoenix Open.
Although Woods’ performance was impressive on day one, he was also involved in a controversial moment involving Justin Thomas and a tampon. After outdriving Thomas on the 15th hole, the 82-time PGA Tour champion handed his playing partner a tampon.
Many have interpreted this as Woods telling Thomas that he had driven the ball like a woman as if that’s some kind of insult. Understandably, this has resulted in many people speaking out on the issue.
It isn’t the first time that either player has been involved in controversy, either. Back in 2009, Woods’ indecent private life was exposed to the world after he admitted to numerous counts of infidelity. Thomas, on the other hand, had to apologise in 2021 after using a homophobic slur during the Sentry Tour of Champions.
Neither player has commented on this particular incident as of yet.
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