Tiger Woods brought plenty of excitement in his return to golf Thursday at the Hero World Challenge.
The 41-year-old fired a 3-under 69 at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas and is only three back after 18 holes. At one point during the opening round, Woods was one off the lead.
Overall, there was a lot to like from the 14-time major champion. Certainly, though, there was room for improvement.
Here are the full highlights and lowlights from Woods’ first round:
• • •
Tiger hits beautiful (with some luck) opening tee shot
His opening tee ball actually wasn’t perfectly on line, but Woods got a great kick for his first drive to find the fairway.
Tiger makes first birdie after stunning second shot
We got Woods’ first birdie at just the third hole, and it came after he yelled, “Be good!” at his 2-iron second shot from 260 yards and found the green.
He then two-putted for the birdie to move to 1 under.
Tiger brings out first fist pump with par-saver at the fourth
A poor approach and chip shot left the 41-year-old in position to make his first bogey the very hole after his opening birdie. But he brought out a classic Tiger moment here when he buried a 15-foot par effort and gave a fist pump.
Tiger moves to 2 under after long birdie putt at No. 8
We got the first ounce of major excitement when Woods rolled in this 25-footer for birdie to move to 2 under. Beautiful stuff.
Tiger makes bad bogey at par 5 to close out front nine
This was Woods’ first hiccup of the day. He almost left himself 15 feet or less for eagle, but his ball trickled off. He then hit another poor chip, raced the ensuing putt from the fringe 10 feet by and whiffed on the comebacker.
A rough bogey for sure to post 1-under 35.
Tiger scores bounceback birdie at No. 10
The good news for Woods? He came right back at the 10th with a great drive, a pristine 7-iron from 158 yards and a pure 12-foot birdie putt. He was back to 2 under.
Tiger produces another birdie at No. 13
After a pair of par saves at 11 and 12, Woods nailed this putt at No. 13 to move to 3 under and get everyone in a frenzy.
Tiger gets within one after back-to-back birdies
This was probably the zenith for excitement in Woods’ opening round. Tiger hit a beauty of a wedge to 3 feet and rolled in another birdie. At this point he was 4 under and just one back.
Tiger gets penalty at 15, makes another par-5 bogey
Woods’ round stalled a bit here, as he hit one way right off the tee and was forced to take an unplayable. It led to bogey and meant Woods played the par 5s in 1 over for the day.
Tiger rolls in short par putt at 18 to close out 3-under 69
Woods would’ve been mad to finish with bogey, but he cleaned up nicely for a score in the 60s. We’re guessing he’ll take this score in his first round back. Very impressive.