Tiger Woods soars, stumbles in return at Hero World Challenge

Tiger Woods soars, stumbles in return at Hero World Challenge

PGA Tour

Tiger Woods soars, stumbles in return at Hero World Challenge

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Tiger Woods first competitive round in nearly 16 months – an opening 1-over 73 in the first round of the Hero World Challenge – was filled with both good and bad.

The good: Woods made four birdies in his first eight holes at Albany Golf Club in New Providence, Bahamas, including three straight from Nos. 6-8. He made two impressive chips on the front and hit a few powerful drives. But then came the bad…

Woods bogeyed the par-5 ninth after hitting his ball into a bush off the tee. He then found another bush with his second shot at the par-5 11th, and that time had to take an unplayable. He went on to bogey the 11th.

“I had some awkward shots, there’s no doubt about it,” Woods told Golf Channel after his round.

After a birdie at the par-5 15th, Woods doubled Nos. 16 and 18. On the 16th, he hooked an approach from the fairway and into another bush. On the 18th, he pulled his drive into the water.

“If you think about it, I hit the ball in three bushes and (had) a water ball today,” Woods said. “It could’ve been something really good.”

Woods got through his round without injury, but he is nine shots back of leader J.B. Holmes, who shot 64. Still, Woods feels good.

“All in all, I feel pretty good and (I’m) looking forward to another three days,” Woods said.

We tracked Tiger’s opening round shot by shot, while keeping an eye on the rest of the field. Here’s how the day unfolded in the Bahamas:

• • •

Update No. 5: 4:15 p.m. ET

Here’s what Tiger had to say after his round:

Update No. 4: 4:12 p.m. ET

Dustin Johnson caps his round with birdie at the 18th. He shoots 6-under 66 to finish two back of leader J.B. Holmes. Also, Louis Oosthuizen, after dropping a shot at 17, makes par at the closing hole to shoot 67. Both of them are behind Hideki Matsuyama, whose closing birdie left him with a 7-under 65, one shot back of Holmes.

TIGER TRACKER

Last hole and Tiger has to be feeling mentally fatigued after this round. Playing well but has had to really fight at times.

OFF THE TEE (3:45 P.M.): Tiger smashes driver and then smashes the ground. Ball is left and wet. Splash!

SECOND AND THIRD SHOTS (3:49 P.M.): After a drop, Tiger hacks down the fairway.

AROUND THE GREEN (3:52 P.M.): From 30 yards or so, Tiger hits a good one. The ball clips the flagstick, bites on the green and ends up about 15 feet away. That was world class.

ON THE GREEN (3:56 P.M.): The bogey save misses and Tiger bogeys.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1-over 73

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Louis Oosthuizen has been on fire. He just birdied the par-4 16th (3:50 p.m.) for his third straight birdie. He has made eight of them today and is a shot off the lead at 7 under. … Patrick Reed hasn’t had a great day, but he does chip in for birdie at the 18th hole (3:55 p.m.) to finish with an even-par 72.

Hole No. 17: Par 3, 184 yards

That last hole hurt. But hey, Tiger is still 1 under with two holes to play.

OFF THE TEE (3:35 P.M.): Finds front edge of the green. Hit looked to be a little heavy.

ON THE GREEN (3:40 P.M.): Misses the birdie left, but great speed. Par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 17 (T-11)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Henrik Stenson misses a 15-footer for birdie at No. 18 (3:31 P.M.), but he does shoot 5-under 67. … Hideki Matsuyama birdies the par-5 15th (3:33 p.m.) to enter solo second at 6 under, two off the lead. .. Jordan Spieth finishes off his opening 68 with a close approach and birdie at No. 18 (3:41 p.m.).

Hole No. 16: Par 4, 485 yards

An eagle would’ve been nice for Woods on the last hole, but he’ll take birdie heading into the toughest handicapped hole, the par-4 16th.

OFF THE TEE (3:21 P.M.): Driver. Fairway. No Sand.

APPROACH SHOT (3:24 P.M.): Tiger hooks this one from 200 yards left and into the junk.

AROUND THE GREEN (3:28 P.M.): Tiger’s ball is in a bush and he punches backwards out and into the fairway. The fourth shot, a pitch, carries way too far and Tiger will have a long bogey putt upcoming. His ball actually rolls just onto the fringe and Tiger misses the 25-footer for bogey.

ON THE GREEN (3:31 P.M.): Tiger makes double from 3 feet.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 16 (T-12)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.B. Holmes to Golf Channel after his round (3:19 p.m.): “Looking forward to a good season … and hopefully a win or two.” … Dustin Johnson adds a birdie at No. 15 (3:23 p.m.) and he’s now T-2, three shots off the lead, at 5 under.

Hole No. 15: Par 5, 548 yards

Par saves like that will keep rounds alive. Next up: the final par 5 on the course.

OFF THE TEE (3:04 P.M.): With driver, Tiger draws this one into the middle of the fairway.

SECOND SHOT (3:10 P.M.): With just 199 yards left, Tiger hits 7-iron to about 10 feet.

ON THE GREEN (3:14 P.M.): The eagle putt misses right. Birdie, though.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 15 (T-7)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.B. Holmes throws a dart into the final green (3:08 p.m.). He birdies to finish with an 8-under 64. He leads by three shots. … Dustin Johnson birdies No. 14 (3:10 p.m.) and gets to 4 under.

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 198 yards

Another drivable par 4, and this one is really drivable.

OFF THE TEE (2:52 P.M.): “Get down!” Tiger goes with driver and over-cooks it left and into the sandy stuff. Tiger is very familiar with these lies.

SECOND SHOT (2:56 P.M.): Bunker to bunker. With little green to work with, Tiger hits from “waste area” to a greenside bunker on other side of the green. Not good.

AROUND THE GREEN (2:58 P.M.): Another poor sand shot as Tiger’s ball runs past hole and just onto fringe. He then steps up and holes the putt from the fairway cut. All-world par right there!

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 14 (T-9)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Matt Kuchar gets in trouble at No. 14 in front of Tiger (2:50 p.m.). He doubles to drop to 5 under. J.B. Holmes now leads by two shots. … Who said Jimmy Walker was fatigued? Walker birdied 18th to finish with a 2-under 70 (2:58 p.m.). … Patrick Reed drove the 14th green and ends up with birdie to get back to 1 over (3:01 p.m.).

Hole No. 13: Par 4, 483 yards

That par save was big. Tiger couldn’t afford three bogeys in four holes.

OFF THE TEE (2:39 P.M.): Tiger misses in the sandy area left. Not a bad lie but still not the fairway.

APPROACH SHOT (2:43 P.M.): Tiger’s approach is just short of the green and his chipping will be tested again.

AROUND THE GREEN (2:45 P.M.): Tiger nearly holes this one but it has some pace. It ends up 5 feet by.

ON THE GREEN (2:47 P.M.): Nice delicate par save.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 13 (T-8)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson finish the first rounds of the day (2:36 p.m.), shooting 4-under 68 and even-par 72, respectively. … J.B. Holmes misses a birdie chance at the 15th (2:38 p.m.), and he remains tied with Matt Kuchar for the lead at 7 under.

Hole No. 12: Par 3, 202 yards

Let’s see how Tiger handles adversity now. He’s done well on par 3s and he gets another one here to try and get a shot back.

OFF THE TEE (2:28 P.M.): Tiger hits a nice, crisp iron shot that lands right next to the hole and ends up 8 feet or so past.

ON THE GREEN (2:34 P.M.): Runs it 5 feet by, but makes the comebacker for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 12 (T-8)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Not a good day for Patrick Reed, whose tee ball finds the water (2:27 p.m.).

Hole No. 11: Par 5, 589 yards

Tiger is settling in nicely and now he gets the fourth or five par 5s today. Don’t miss right off the tee here.

OFF THE TEE: Tiger doesn’t miss right, but he does miss left. Sandy area and Tiger will have to lay up.

SECOND SHOT: Tiger hates this one. Ball comes out right and heads into the right waste area. The search is on.

THIRD AND FOURTH SHOTS: After taking an unplayable, Tiger hits his fourth shot to 12 feet.

ON THE GREEN: Tiger misses the par save and bogeys.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 11 (T-7)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.B. Holmes separates himself again from Matt Kuchar, birdieing the par-4 14th to move to 7 under.

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 435 yards

Good opening nine for Tiger despite that last bogey. There’s a bunker left of the fairway that Tiger will need to avoid here. However, too far right and the second shot will be blind.

OFF THE TEE: Tiger finds the right side. He may have a dune blocking his view of the green, though.

APPROACH SHOT: Tiger has 146 yards left and goes with 8-iron. The ball lands on the back-left portion of the green, about 30 feet from the hole.

ON THE GREEN: Two-putt par after Tiger makes a 4-footer coming back.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 10 (T-5)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.B. Holmes still leads the way at 6 under, but Rickie Fowler is climbing. He just birdied the 15th hole to move to 4 under.

Hole No. 9: Par 5, 603 yards

Tiger is tied for the lead. We repeat, Tiger is tied for the lead. And he gets another par 5 here. He eagled here Wednesday in the pro-am.

OFF THE TEE: Tiger plays a cut – and it doesn’t cut. This one might not be found. It’s left and in the junk.

SECOND SHOT: He found it and he punches it out of the tall stuff. Back in fairway.

THIRD SHOT: With 4-iron, Tiger misses the green left.

AROUND THE GREEN: Tough chip and Tiger leaves it short and it rolls back on the push-up green. The next chip is better and Tiger will have 3 feet for bogey.

ON THE GREEN: Bogey putt is good.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 9 (T-4)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.B. Holmes takes outright lead at 6 under after draining a long eagle putt at the par-5 11th.

Hole No. 8: Par 3, 216 yards

Tiger is playing well, so well that you would’ve thought he played a full slate in 2016. He now gets another par 3. This one is a lengthy hole with no bunkers but brutal collection areas off the green.

OFF THE TEE: “Leave it 1 yard!” Tiger yells at his ball and it listens. Tiger sticks 6-iron to 2 feet. Wow.

ON THE GREEN: Tweet, tweet. And Tiger’s tied for the lead at 4 under.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 under thru 8

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.B. Holmes and Louis Oozthuizen have also joined Tiger and Kuch atop the leaderboard.

Hole No. 7: Par 4, 340 yards

Drivable par 4 here. A lot of trouble around the green for those going for the green off the tee.

OFF THE TEE: Tiger hits 5-wood and it’s a nice one. The lay up gives him about 100 yards in.

APPROACH SHOT: Another nice wedge shot. Tiger has inside of 10 feet left again.

ON THE GREEN: From just outside of 5 feet, Tiger birdies again!

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 7

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Dustin Johnson eagles the par-5 sixth to reach 2 under. He’s two back of Matt Kuchar, who is 4 under through eight holes.

Hole No. 6: Par 5, 595 yards

Remember, there are five par 5s and five par 3s here at Albany. Tiger has already birdied one par 5 and now he gets another one.

OFF THE TEE: Left side of the fairway and Tiger will have a go at the green with his second shot. This

SECOND SHOT: With 3-wood, Tiger blocks this one. Way short and left, and finds edge of rough.

THIRD SHOT: Tiger walks off his third shot. He then lands his wedge shot pin-high and will have about 10 feet for birdie left.

ON THE GREEN: From inside of 10 feet, Tiger rolls this birdie home.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 6

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Matt Kuchar leads at 3 under, but Tiger is just a shot back along with six others, including Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler.

Hole No. 5: Par 3, 180 yards

Tiger has produced two good chips/pitches so far and he’s still under par and bogey-free. This par 3 has sand guarding the front and right portions of the green. The miss is left but we should see Tiger go right at this.

OFF THE TEE: Nice tee ball is right at the flag. It lands about 15 feet short of the hole and Tiger will have a nice birdie look upcoming.

ON THE GREEN: Tiger scares the right edge on his birdie roll. Par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 5

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: It’s Patrick Reed, and not Tiger, who is having the chipping woes. Two heavy chips in last two holes. Reed is now 1 over after back-to-back bogeys.

Hole No. 4: Par 4, 492 yards

Boom! Tiger is under par as he heads to a tough hole. This is the longest par 4 on the course and it is challenging right away with a split fairway.

OFF THE TEE: Drive. Club twirl. However, Tiger’s ball is left and in the large sandy area left of the fairway.

APPROACH SHOT: Caught this one a tad heavy out of the sand and his ball is short and left. Tiger shouts “Noooo!” Looks like it is right on edge between fairway cut and rough.

AROUND THE GREEN: It’s fairway cut for Tiger. Another pitch here and it’s another good one. Two feet left.

ON THE GREEN: Great par save.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 4

Hole No. 3: Par 5, 572 yards

Par-5 time! Big landing area off tee at this dogleg left hole. Some trouble left (collection area) and right (bunker) of green, though. Tiger eagled two par 5s in his practice round on Wednesday.

OFF THE TEE: If Tiger wants eagle here, this is a good start. Fairway finder off the tee and Tiger LOVES it!

SECOND SHOT: Tiger goes with iron, hits the green, but the ball rolls off the back. He’ll have his first chipping test coming up.

THIRD SHOT: What. A. Beauty. Tiger pitches to within tap-in range.

ON THE GREEN: And Tiger cards his first birdie of the tournament!

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 3

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Patrick Reed also birdies No. 3 and he and Tiger are a shot off the lead, held by Matt Kuchar.

Hole No. 2: Par 3, 187 yards

Solid start by Tiger and now he gets the first par 3 on the course. There’s a lot of danger surrounding the green here and the green complex is tricky. It will be interesting to see if Tiger goes for the flag.

OFF THE TEE: Sawed-off swing here and Tiger finds the front-left part of the green. He’ll have a lengthy birdie upcoming.

ON THE GREEN: We’ll call this 30 feet. Tiger gives it a run but pulls it slightly. Another par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even par thru 2

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 423 yards

Here we go! It’s happening guys! The first hole features a slight dogleg with two bunkers left of the fairway and a waste area right. Tiger needs to start his round with a straight one here.


OFF THE TEE: Tiger’s first competitive drive in nearly 16 months and Tiger finds the left rough between the bunkers with his driver.


APPROACH SHOT: The ball is buried in the thick stuff, but Tiger gets it clean enough. The ball lands in the fairway cut just shy of the green but kicks a little left and forward, and Tiger finds the first green in regulation. Good bounce and Tiger has about 15 feet left for birdie.

ON THE GREEN: Too much speed on the birdie roll and Tiger misses right. Par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even par thru 1

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Jimmy Walker is the only player under par right now. He’s 1 under through five holes.

Update No. 3: 11:45 a.m. ET

We are at 15 minutes until Tiger tees off. He’s on his way to the practice green after spending some time on the range. Earlier, this happened:

Dropped golf balls aside, Tiger looks good right now. His range session was smooth and Tiger appears to be in the zone. He hit a nice drive to close his range warmup, too.

Update No. 2: 11:36 a.m. ET

Tiger is dressed in all black – black hat, black polo, black pants and black shoes. (We guess you could say he’s “Back in Black.”)


Speaking of his shoes, Tiger is wearing prototypes of the new Nike TW ’17 golf shoe this week.

Update No. 1: 11:20 a.m. ET

The 2016 Hero World Challenge has begun. Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson tee off in the first group – and Rickie birdies the first hole. Tiger Woods tees off in a half hour.

Hole No. 18: Par 4, 470 yards

Last hole and Tiger has to be feeling mentally fatigued after this round. Playing well but has had to really fight at times.

OFF THE TEE (3:45 P.M.): Tiger smashes driver and then smashes the ground. Ball is left and wet. Splash!

SECOND AND THIRD SHOTS (3:49 P.M.): After a drop, Tiger hacks down the fairway.

AROUND THE GREEN (3:52 P.M.): From 30 yards or so, Tiger hits a good one. The ball clips the flagstick, bites on the green and ends up about 15 feet away. That was world class.

ON THE GREEN (3:56 P.M.): The bogey save misses and Tiger bogeys.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1-over 73

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Louis Oosthuizen has been on fire. He just birdied the par-4 16th (3:50 p.m.) for his third straight birdie. He has made eight of them today and is a shot off the lead at 7 under. … Patrick Reed hasn’t had a great day, but he does chip in for birdie at the 18th hole (3:55 p.m.) to finish with an even-par 72.

Hole No. 17: Par 3, 184 yards

That last hole hurt. But hey, Tiger is still 1 under with two holes to play.

OFF THE TEE (3:35 P.M.): Finds front edge of the green. Hit looked to be a little heavy.

ON THE GREEN (3:40 P.M.): Misses the birdie left, but great speed. Par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 17 (T-11)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Henrik Stenson misses a 15-footer for birdie at No. 18 (3:31 P.M.), but he does shoot 5-under 67. … Hideki Matsuyama birdies the par-5 15th (3:33 p.m.) to enter solo second at 6 under, two off the lead. .. Jordan Spieth finishes off his opening 68 with a close approach and birdie at No. 18 (3:41 p.m.).

Hole No. 16: Par 4, 485 yards

An eagle would’ve been nice for Woods on the last hole, but he’ll take birdie heading into the toughest handicapped hole, the par-4 16th.

OFF THE TEE (3:21 P.M.): Driver. Fairway. No Sand.

APPROACH SHOT (3:24 P.M.): Tiger hooks this one from 200 yards left and into the junk.

AROUND THE GREEN (3:28 P.M.): Tiger’s ball is in a bush and he punches backwards out and into the fairway. The fourth shot, a pitch, carries way too far and Tiger will have a long bogey putt upcoming. His ball actually rolls just onto the fringe and Tiger misses the 25-footer for bogey.

ON THE GREEN (3:31 P.M.): Tiger makes double from 3 feet.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 16 (T-12)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.B. Holmes to Golf Channel after his round (3:19 p.m.): “Looking forward to a good season … and hopefully a win or two.” … Dustin Johnson adds a birdie at No. 15 (3:23 p.m.) and he’s now T-2, three shots off the lead, at 5 under.

Hole No. 15: Par 5, 548 yards

Par saves like that will keep rounds alive. Next up: the final par 5 on the course.

OFF THE TEE (3:04 P.M.): With driver, Tiger draws this one into the middle of the fairway.

SECOND SHOT (3:10 P.M.): With just 199 yards left, Tiger hits 7-iron to about 10 feet.

ON THE GREEN (3:14 P.M.): The eagle putt misses right. Birdie, though.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 15 (T-7)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.B. Holmes throws a dart into the final green (3:08 p.m.). He birdies to finish with an 8-under 64. He leads by three shots. … Dustin Johnson birdies No. 14 (3:10 p.m.) and gets to 4 under.

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 198 yards

Another drivable par 4, and this one is really drivable.

OFF THE TEE (2:52 P.M.): “Get down!” Tiger goes with driver and over-cooks it left and into the sandy stuff. Tiger is very familiar with these lies.

SECOND SHOT (2:56 P.M.): Bunker to bunker. With little green to work with, Tiger hits from “waste area” to a greenside bunker on other side of the green. Not good.

AROUND THE GREEN (2:58 P.M.): Another poor sand shot as Tiger’s ball runs past hole and just onto fringe. He then steps up and holes the putt from the fairway cut. All-world par right there!

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 14 (T-9)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Matt Kuchar gets in trouble at No. 14 in front of Tiger (2:50 p.m.). He doubles to drop to 5 under. J.B. Holmes now leads by two shots. … Who said Jimmy Walker was fatigued? Walker birdied 18th to finish with a 2-under 70 (2:58 p.m.). … Patrick Reed drove the 14th green and ends up with birdie to get back to 1 over (3:01 p.m.).

Hole No. 13: Par 4, 483 yards

That par save was big. Tiger couldn’t afford three bogeys in four holes.

OFF THE TEE (2:39 P.M.): Tiger misses in the sandy area left. Not a bad lie but still not the fairway.

APPROACH SHOT (2:43 P.M.): Tiger’s approach is just short of the green and his chipping will be tested again.

AROUND THE GREEN (2:45 P.M.): Tiger nearly holes this one but it has some pace. It ends up 5 feet by.

ON THE GREEN (2:47 P.M.): Nice delicate par save.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 13 (T-8)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson finish the first rounds of the day (2:36 p.m.), shooting 4-under 68 and even-par 72, respectively. … J.B. Holmes misses a birdie chance at the 15th (2:38 p.m.), and he remains tied with Matt Kuchar for the lead at 7 under.

Hole No. 12: Par 3, 202 yards

Let’s see how Tiger handles adversity now. He’s done well on par 3s and he gets another one here to try and get a shot back.

OFF THE TEE (2:28 P.M.): Tiger hits a nice, crisp iron shot that lands right next to the hole and ends up 8 feet or so past.

ON THE GREEN (2:34 P.M.): Runs it 5 feet by, but makes the comebacker for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 12 (T-8)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Not a good day for Patrick Reed, whose tee ball finds the water (2:27 p.m.).

Hole No. 11: Par 5, 589 yards

Tiger is settling in nicely and now he gets the fourth or five par 5s today. Don’t miss right off the tee here.

OFF THE TEE: Tiger doesn’t miss right, but he does miss left. Sandy area and Tiger will have to lay up.

SECOND SHOT: Tiger hates this one. Ball comes out right and heads into the right waste area. The search is on.

THIRD AND FOURTH SHOTS: After taking an unplayable, Tiger hits his fourth shot to 12 feet.

ON THE GREEN: Tiger misses the par save and bogeys.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 11 (T-7)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.B. Holmes separates himself again from Matt Kuchar, birdieing the par-4 14th to move to 7 under.

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 435 yards

Good opening nine for Tiger despite that last bogey. There’s a bunker left of the fairway that Tiger will need to avoid here. However, too far right and the second shot will be blind.

OFF THE TEE: Tiger finds the right side. He may have a dune blocking his view of the green, though.

APPROACH SHOT: Tiger has 146 yards left and goes with 8-iron. The ball lands on the back-left portion of the green, about 30 feet from the hole.

ON THE GREEN: Two-putt par after Tiger makes a 4-footer coming back.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 10 (T-5)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.B. Holmes still leads the way at 6 under, but Rickie Fowler is climbing. He just birdied the 15th hole to move to 4 under.

Hole No. 9: Par 5, 603 yards

Tiger is tied for the lead. We repeat, Tiger is tied for the lead. And he gets another par 5 here. He eagled here Wednesday in the pro-am.

OFF THE TEE: Tiger plays a cut – and it doesn’t cut. This one might not be found. It’s left and in the junk.

SECOND SHOT: He found it and he punches it out of the tall stuff. Back in fairway.

THIRD SHOT: With 4-iron, Tiger misses the green left.

AROUND THE GREEN: Tough chip and Tiger leaves it short and it rolls back on the push-up green. The next chip is better and Tiger will have 3 feet for bogey.

ON THE GREEN: Bogey putt is good.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 9 (T-4)

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.B. Holmes takes outright lead at 6 under after draining a long eagle putt at the par-5 11th.

Hole No. 8: Par 3, 216 yards

Tiger is playing well, so well that you would’ve thought he played a full slate in 2016. He now gets another par 3. This one is a lengthy hole with no bunkers but brutal collection areas off the green.

OFF THE TEE: “Leave it 1 yard!” Tiger yells at his ball and it listens. Tiger sticks 6-iron to 2 feet. Wow.

ON THE GREEN: Tweet, tweet. And Tiger’s tied for the lead at 4 under.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 under thru 8

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.B. Holmes and Louis Oozthuizen have also joined Tiger and Kuch atop the leaderboard.

Hole No. 7: Par 4, 340 yards

Drivable par 4 here. A lot of trouble around the green for those going for the green off the tee.

OFF THE TEE: Tiger hits 5-wood and it’s a nice one. The lay up gives him about 100 yards in.

APPROACH SHOT: Another nice wedge shot. Tiger has inside of 10 feet left again.

ON THE GREEN: From just outside of 5 feet, Tiger birdies again!

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 7

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Dustin Johnson eagles the par-5 sixth to reach 2 under. He’s two back of Matt Kuchar, who is 4 under through eight holes.

Hole No. 6: Par 5, 595 yards

Remember, there are five par 5s and five par 3s here at Albany. Tiger has already birdied one par 5 and now he gets another one.

OFF THE TEE: Left side of the fairway and Tiger will have a go at the green with his second shot. This

SECOND SHOT: With 3-wood, Tiger blocks this one. Way short and left, and finds edge of rough.

THIRD SHOT: Tiger walks off his third shot. He then lands his wedge shot pin-high and will have about 10 feet for birdie left.

ON THE GREEN: From inside of 10 feet, Tiger rolls this birdie home.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 6

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Matt Kuchar leads at 3 under, but Tiger is just a shot back along with six others, including Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler.

Hole No. 5: Par 3, 180 yards

Tiger has produced two good chips/pitches so far and he’s still under par and bogey-free. This par 3 has sand guarding the front and right portions of the green. The miss is left but we should see Tiger go right at this.

OFF THE TEE: Nice tee ball is right at the flag. It lands about 15 feet short of the hole and Tiger will have a nice birdie look upcoming.

ON THE GREEN: Tiger scares the right edge on his birdie roll. Par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 5

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: It’s Patrick Reed, and not Tiger, who is having the chipping woes. Two heavy chips in last two holes. Reed is now 1 over after back-to-back bogeys.

Hole No. 4: Par 4, 492 yards

Boom! Tiger is under par as he heads to a tough hole. This is the longest par 4 on the course and it is challenging right away with a split fairway.

OFF THE TEE: Drive. Club twirl. However, Tiger’s ball is left and in the large sandy area left of the fairway.

APPROACH SHOT: Caught this one a tad heavy out of the sand and his ball is short and left. Tiger shouts “Noooo!” Looks like it is right on edge between fairway cut and rough.

AROUND THE GREEN: It’s fairway cut for Tiger. Another pitch here and it’s another good one. Two feet left.

ON THE GREEN: Great par save.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 4

Hole No. 3: Par 5, 572 yards

Par-5 time! Big landing area off tee at this dogleg left hole. Some trouble left (collection area) and right (bunker) of green, though. Tiger eagled two par 5s in his practice round on Wednesday.

OFF THE TEE: If Tiger wants eagle here, this is a good start. Fairway finder off the tee and Tiger LOVES it!

SECOND SHOT: Tiger goes with iron, hits the green, but the ball rolls off the back. He’ll have his first chipping test coming up.

THIRD SHOT: What. A. Beauty. Tiger pitches to within tap-in range.

ON THE GREEN: And Tiger cards his first birdie of the tournament!

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 3

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Patrick Reed also birdies No. 3 and he and Tiger are a shot off the lead, held by Matt Kuchar.

Hole No. 2: Par 3, 187 yards

Solid start by Tiger and now he gets the first par 3 on the course. There’s a lot of danger surrounding the green here and the green complex is tricky. It will be interesting to see if Tiger goes for the flag.

OFF THE TEE: Sawed-off swing here and Tiger finds the front-left part of the green. He’ll have a lengthy birdie upcoming.

ON THE GREEN: We’ll call this 30 feet. Tiger gives it a run but pulls it slightly. Another par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even par thru 2

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 423 yards

Here we go! It’s happening guys! The first hole features a slight dogleg with two bunkers left of the fairway and a waste area right. Tiger needs to start his round with a straight one here.


OFF THE TEE: Tiger’s first competitive drive in nearly 16 months and Tiger finds the left rough between the bunkers with his driver.


APPROACH SHOT: The ball is buried in the thick stuff, but Tiger gets it clean enough. The ball lands in the fairway cut just shy of the green but kicks a little left and forward, and Tiger finds the first green in regulation. Good bounce and Tiger has about 15 feet left for birdie.

ON THE GREEN: Too much speed on the birdie roll and Tiger misses right. Par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even par thru 1

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Jimmy Walker is the only player under par right now. He’s 1 under through five holes.

Update No. 3: 11:45 a.m. ET

We are at 15 minutes until Tiger tees off. He’s on his way to the practice green after spending some time on the range. Earlier, this happened:

Dropped golf balls aside, Tiger looks good right now. His range session was smooth and Tiger appears to be in the zone. He hit a nice drive to close his range warmup, too.

Update No. 2: 11:36 a.m. ET

Tiger is dressed in all black – black hat, black polo, black pants and black shoes. (We guess you could say he’s “Back in Black.”)


Speaking of his shoes, Tiger is wearing prototypes of the new Nike TW ’17 golf shoe this week.

Update No. 1: 11:20 a.m. ET

The 2016 Hero World Challenge has begun. Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson tee off in the first group – and Rickie birdies the first hole. Tiger Woods tees off in a half hour.

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