Tiger Woods officially returned to the game last week after a few false starts since The Wyndham Championship last August, and everyone is discussing and analyzing his every move. That may be no surprise, but his performance has left much to be desired. Once the World’s No. 1 player, he is currently ranked at 898. But he’s still Tiger Woods, so it wasn’t a total disaster.
Tiger’s swing and approaches are still among the best in the game, and he proved that upon his return with hitting seven greens on the front nine. He had the help of his trusty Swoosh iron, which doesn’t hurt (the iron partially responsible for making him back in 2013 in SG: Approach-The-Green. He also managed to get himself out of a few grainy spots around the greens and hit an impressive 5-iron from 231 yards.
“The first eight holes he played he played really well,” his playing partner Patrick Reed commented. “I was like, wow, he seemed like he had complete control of what he was trying to do with the golf ball.”
What may have been the most noticeable of flaws was Tiger’s driver accuracy, so it’s lucky that this is an element that can be easily remedied. Though his misses were all roaming a tad to the left, at least they were consistent, but he only hit six fairways in regulation.
He also had to take a drop after missing his second shot at 11 into a bush, and then later on 16 he made a double bogey. On 18, he overshot his tee shot and the ball ended up in the water, and by the end his frustration showed when he slammed his driver, making another double.
There are elements like his short game that will surely improve with more reps. “I just made some really…silly mistakes, mistakes I don’t normally make, but I haven’t played in a while,” Woods said about his first time back.
The overall takeaway is that he’s not quite in tournament shape yet. His stamina isn’t where it needs to be and there are still quite a lot of obstacles for him to overcome. However, it would be hard pressed to find anyone who says his round hasn’t been a success on many levels.