Had golf been a sport with cheerleaders, booze and macho-men chanting support-songs; Tiger Woods would have lost his shirt and screamed with all his lungs till he passed out. The reason for that would have been Woods' impressive return to golf.
Instead of all the action and noise, Woods was seen with an ear to ear smile, one that someone gets after carding an impressive score. For Woods, it was a flush that delighted him as the former World no.1 struck two-under-par for his 68.
Woods just came back from a 3 month long absence after the legendary golfer succumbed to a knee and Achilles Tendon injury. Woods had already declared in his press conference a few weeks ago that he had found his swing and bag of explosives therefore was ready to return to the PGA Tour with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational this Thursday.
Being out for the last 3 months meant Woods had missed two majors, his last victory recorded ages ago. At the course, Woods parred the first nine holes in the opening round just before he showed flair of his old color in the proceedings.
Woods reeled off successive birdies from the 10th from where his only drop was at the 14th. At the 14th Woods’ shot in the back of green bunker but made a comeback from there by making a jaw dropping 31-footer for another birdie at the 16th. Woods then parred the last two holes in an abundantly-tree-grown layout at the Firestone Country Club.
By the end of a hot and humid day, Woods was 6 strokes behind leading Australian, Adam Scott. In his day-ending press release a relieved Woods stated, “It feels great.” Woods who has won 7 times before at this location further said, “As anybody who's been off and who's been injured, first time back, it's a little nervous to see what happens. But my practice sessions were good so there was no reason why I should be worried out there. I just let it go, let it rip. I was hitting it so flush that the ball was just going. As Darren (Clarke) would say, I hit some proper shots out there.”
Woods started the opening round accompanied by good-friend and the champion of British Open, Darren Clarke. Woods informed that he was comfortable playing the sport again and was satisfied with his progress. He also admitted that the only problem he faced was his distance control.
Woods commented on the topic as, “With the amount of compression I've gotten in my golf swing, I'm hitting it just so much more flush, and I'm just not used to that. I am not even hitting it hard yet, and that's what's fun. I'm hitting it farther without any more effort.”
Before reaching the red numbers, Woods covered the front nine in level-par 35. Though there were a few places where more could have been expected from the maestro, Woods satisfied his fans nonetheless. Woods approached the 10th sharply by setting up a five-foot birdie putt, which he knocked in gently. His fans however were ecstatic to see the apple of their eye once again on the green, ready to get back at what he has been missing since the terrible tragedy last year.