KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Tiger Woods fired a back-nine 31 to erase a pair of late front-nine bogeys, firing a 5-under 66 on Thursday at the CIMB Classic.
Woods is currently tied for seventh and trails first-round leader Troy Matteson by three shots.
Take a look at how Woods’ round unfolded in his first tournament in Malaysia in 13 years:
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No. 18, Par 4, 447 yards
Tiger will look to polish off a great back-nine at the picturesque 18th hole. After bogeys after Nos. 8 and 9, Tiger has played the back side in 5 under.
• Off the tee: Tiger starts his tee ball up the left side, hits the rough but gets a great kick out of it and it runs back into the fairway and down a slope. Great break there for Tiger.
• Approach shot: Tiger uses 8-iron and flights a beautiful ball to about 12 feet right of the hole for another look at birdie.
• On the green: Tiger doesn’t play enough break from the left and settles for a two-putt par for a back-nine 31.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under (thru 18 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Jbe Kruger finishes with a double-bogey at No. 18 to fall back to 5 under.
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No. 17, Par 5, 523 yards
Tiger has found his groove again, needing only a pair of 4-footers at Nos. 15 and 16 for birdie. Looking very comfortable again.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes the big stick again and hammers it right up the middle of the fairway and it will definitely be all systems go in getting after the short par 5.
• Second shot: Tiger doesn’t like it, but he finds the fringe to the left of the green. He’ll have a good look at the hole from about 30 feet.
• Around the green: Tiger hits a beautiful chip that lips out on the left, as it had just a bit too much pace. It settles about 3 feet under the hole for a look at his third consecutive birdie.
• On the green: Tiger easily puts this putt in the bottom of the hole to get within three shots of Troy Matteson.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under (thru 17 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: With his third consecutive birdie, Jbe Kruger has moved to within a shot of the lead thru 17 holes. Jason Dufner finishes his round with a birdie to card a 3-under 68.
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No. 16, Par 3, 185 yards
Nice up-and-down birdie for Tiger on No. 15, pushing him to 3 under with the par-5 17th still in front of him.
• Off the tee: With only water between the tee box and the green, Tiger plays a fantastic shot to about 4 feet under the hole. That ball had eyes for the hole.
• On the green: Tiger hits the right edge and it falls in and Woods is 4 under over his past seven holes to get within four of the lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 under (thru 16 holes)
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No. 15, Par 4, 292 yards
Tiger is getting a bit frustrated by his close calls on the greens, with that miss at No. 14 causing him to show the most emotion all day long.
• Off the tee: Longer hitters can take a chance at the green here, but the landing area is small over a large body of water, so that is dangerous. Tiger has a long wait ahead of him, as Nick Watney and Jbe Kruger were both still teeing off as Woods and playing competitor Marcus Fraser approached the tee box. After more than 12 minutes, Tiger takes fairway wood and finds a greenside bunker to the left of the green. Very doable up-and-down from there.
• Around the green: Tiger hits a superb bunker shot, leaving it about 4 feet to the left of the hole. Good look at birdie upcoming.
• On the green: Buries the putt, putting a firm stroke on it to move within five shots of the lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 15 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Robert Garrigus picks up a two-putt birdie at the par-5 17th hole to get to 7 under, one shot back of Troy Matteson, who is in the clubhouse with an 8-under 63. Garrigus is tied with Brian Harman and Jeff Overton.
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No. 14, Par 3, 194 yards
Tiger has burned the edge on plenty of putts on Thursday, but has played them all a bit outside. He’ll need a couple to drop coming in to make sure his deficit is attainable heading into the second round.
• Off the tee: Another pose job here, with Tiger watching the ball for the entire flight. He muscles to the back of the green and leaves himself about 20 feet for a birdie. Good look upcoming.
• On the green: Tiger thinks he has this one, but it runs by on the right side of the cup, hitting the edge and settling 3 feet beyond. He goes into a crouch in disgust. Does pick up another par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 14 holes)
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No. 13, Par 4, 422 yards
That was a nice par from Tiger at No. 12. He can’t afford anymore bogeys as he tries to cut into his six-shot deficit heading into his final six holes of the day.
• Off the tee: With no reason to bomb it, Tiger takes fairway wood off the tee and calmly sends it up the left side of the fairway. Nice swing, nice result.
• Approach shot: From 155 yards, Tiger safely hits the green, but has about 20 feet from behind the hole for birdie. Hangs his head a bit after that swing.
• On the green: The crowd thought he had this one, but the ball refuses to move a bit more right at the end and Tiger sends his birdie attempt about 4 feet past. Tiger knocks that in for another par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 13 holes)
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No. 12, Par 4, 476 yards
The birdie at No. 11 was Tiger’s fourth of the day. Outside of the two mistakes on Nos. 8 and 9, Tiger has played quite well on Wednesday.
• Off the tee: Tiger misses the bunkers on the left, but leaves himself an awkward second shot after a slightly wayward tee ball.
• Approach shot: After narrowly avoiding sand in the fairway, Tiger finds it after his second shot, putting into a greenside bunker.
• Around the green: Tiger hits a nice bunker shot, leaving himself less than 4 feet to save par.
• On the green: Tiger does slide his putt in for a solid par, staying six shots off the lead in the process.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 12 holes)
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No. 11, Par 5, 557 yards
Great response from Tiger at No. 10, making an improbable birdie from a tough spot on the green.
• Off the tee: Tiger booms a driver up the right side of the fairway to the tune of 352 yards. Monster hit there.
• Second shot: A beautiful shot here, sending it to about 18 feet beyond the hole for an attempt at eagle.
• On the green: Tiger narrowly misses his eagle opportunity, but does convert on his birdie try to get back to 2 under overall.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 11 holes)
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No. 10, Par 4, 454 yards
That is about as shaky has Tiger has looked in recent memory, negating a nice opening seven holes.
• Off the tee: Another fairway hit, using long iron to just slide it up the middle of the fairway.
• Approach shot: Tiger uses wedge from about 150 yards and lands it about 25 feet short of the cup.
• On the green: Facing a difficult putt, Tiger reads this one perfectly and picks up a huge birdie to respond to his poor back-to-back bogeys.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 10 holes)
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No. 9, Par 4, 451 yards
After looking in control thru 7 holes, Tiger looked a bit shaky at the par-4 8th hole.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes less-than-driver and finds the fairway, hitting the downslope of a hill in the middle.
• Approach shot; Bad swing here, missing the green short and to the right. Pretty miserable shot into the bunker there.
• Around the green: Tiger hits a nice shot to about 4 feet.
• On the green: Tiger thinks he has this putt, but it lips out and he picks up a second consecutive bogey.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 9 holes)
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No. 8, Par 4, 411 yards
At the moment, six of the eight players atop the leaderboard are from the U.S. There are only 48 players in the tournament.
• Off the tee: Tiger’s first errant tee ball of the day, as it hits the left side of the fairway, but bounds through the short grass and into the long rough.
• Approach shot: Tiger hits a nice shot into the green, but it bounds off the green and he’ll have to pitch back to the hole.
• Around the green: Tiger’s pitch is too firm and he has 6 feet left for par.
• On the green: Tiger hits his putt too firm and picks up his first bogey of the day.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 8 holes)
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No. 7, Par 3, 190 yards
Tiger has started the round well, but he has missed a pair of birdie putts that were attainable. He is chasing Troy Matteson, who has carded an 8-under 63 on Wednesday night.
• Off the tee: Tiger poses over this shot, but it isn’t as good as he thought it might be. He still finds the green, but will have about 25 feet from the left of the pin for birdie.
• On the green: He gives his putt plenty of pace to get there, but it runs by on the right and he raps in a 2-footer for another par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 7 holes)
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No. 6, Par 4, 371 yards
Tiger is looking very fluid with his swing. There is a calmness about him, whether that is feeling no pressure or is incredibly confident in his swing, it seems to be working on Wednesday.
• Off the tee: With no need for more than a long iron at the short par 4, Tiger laces it up the left side of the fairway.
• Approach shot: Tiger is feeling it, as he isn’t satisfied with a nice shot to about 10 feet past the hole. He wanted it closer after an open look from about 120 yards.
• On the green: A missed opportunity here, as he leaves it about three revolutions short and settles for a two-putt par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 6 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Troy Matteson has taken the outright lead at 8 under with a birdie at No. 18.
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No. 5, Par 4, 460 yards
Tiger is wishing he could have that putt back at No. 4, he looked a bit unsure of how hard to hit it. He’ll need to figure it out quickly, as he has some ground to make up with Brian Harman at 7 under on the par-71 track.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes less-than-driver and hits another fairway, this time up the right side at the lengthy par 4.
• Approach shot: From about 135 yards, Tiger plays a magnificent shot to about 3 feet left of the cup.
• On the green: Tiger knocks it in for his second birdie in three holes.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 5 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Troy Matteson has joined Brian Harman at 7 under with a birdie at No. 17.
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No. 4, Par 4, 475 yards
Nice birdie at No. 3 for Tiger. He looks comfortable with his swing so far, never hesitating over the ball.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes driver again here and rips one right up the middle of the fairway. Even a little twirl of the club as the ball took its initial flight. Didn’t even look at the ball.
• Approach shot: Tiger finds the right line, but comes up about a yard short of the green. He’ll likely be able to putt from about 15 feet under the hole.
• Around the green: An immediate walk after his putt from off the green, and not for good reasons. He doesn’t hit it hard enough to hold its line and he settles for a third par on the day. That’s four holes complete in 48 minutes, a nice brisk pace of 12 minutes per hole.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 4 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Jeff Overton, Troy Matteson and Greg Chalmers have all moved to 6 under, one shot off Brian Harman’s early lead.
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No. 3, Par 5, 527 yards
There are lots of birdies on the course today, with only nine of the 48 players in the field at over par.
• Off the tee: Tiger hammers his first driver of the day, sending it up the right, hitting a patch of rough, but it gets through it and hits the downhill portion of the fairway and runs to the middle. Should be able to give this a go.
• Second shot: Tiger takes long iron and takes dead aim at the back-right pin. He finds the wide fringe to the right of the hole and has a makeable pitch upcoming.
• Third shot: Tiger is aggressive with his chip, sending it just past on the right side and leaves himself 3 feet for a birdie.
• On the green: Tiger knocks in his short attempt for his first birdie of the day.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 3 holes)
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No. 2, Par 3, 170 yards
There is a deep ravine that players must hit over here, but the landing area is plentiful and players should be able to attack this hole throughout the week.
Another par here for Woods. Solid, but not fast start. Fans are definitely buzzing around the course.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 2 holes)
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No. 1, Par 4, 363 yards
The crowd goes crazy as Tiger Woods steps up to the tee for the first time in the tournament. While this hole is shorter, the tee ball is actually a difficult one, needing to try and hit the left side for an opportune chance to score.
Tiger is playing with Marcus Fraser today, with Nick Watney and Jbe Kruger right in front of them. Tiger is in the last group of the day.
Tiger plays a solid opening hole, picking up a par, while Fraser opens with a bogey. Maybe some nerves playing with the World No. 2?
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 1 hole)
• Elsewhere on the course: Brian Harman birdies both Nos. 16 and 17 to move to 7 under, two shots clear of Tom Gillis and Greg Chalmers.
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Update #1: 11:35 p.m. EDT
Tiger Woods is about 10 minutes from his tee time and will be trying to chase down Brian Harman, who is 6 under thru 16 holes. J.B. Holmes is at 5 under thru 13 holes, while Tom Gillis is also 5 under, but thru only 10 holes.