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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Solid start for Tiger Woods with 72 at the Farmers Insurance Open

The 14-time major winner seven shots off the pace after opening round at Torrey Pines.

Tiger Woods hit a 72 in his first round at Torrey Pines on Thursday. Gregory Bull / AP Photo
Tiger Woods hit a 72 in his first round at Torrey Pines on Thursday. Gregory Bull / AP Photo

Tiger Woods marked his return to PGA Tour action after a 12-month absence with a level-par 72 at the Farmers Insurance Open.

The 14-time major winner hit the opening round's halfway point one over par but recovered that shot on the back nine in a steady comeback.

Woods endured a frustrating start, suffering a bogey on the opening hole at Torrey Pines after missing a tricky putt to save par.

He dropped another shot at the par-four fifth but birdied the next hole and picked up another two gains either side of a bogey after the turn.

The 42-year-old closed his round holding a share of 83rd place, seven shots adrift of clubhouse leader Tony Finau.

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Summing up round one, he told the PGA Tour website it was "fun to compete again" but admitted he was "probably a little bit rusty".

After nearly making an ace the par-3 16th, he said: "It was just a full six-iron. I just had to throw it up in the air as high as I could. It felt good, it looked good and then we were just listening for some noise."

Asked what adjustments he would need to make for round two, he added: "I've got to hit my irons a little better than I did today.

"I didn't hit them very close, didn't give myself a lot of looks. It's hard to make a lot of birdies when you're not giving yourself any looks and I didn't do that today.

"So tomorrow hopefully I'll drive better and hit irons a lot closer and we've got the better of the two greens tomorrow so we'll see what happens."

Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, including his last major in the 2008 US Open, but missed the cut in the Farmers Insurance Open this time last year.

He withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic the following week and remained sidelined for the rest of 2017 as he recovered from spinal fusion surgery.

Woods secured a tie for ninth place in December's 18-man Hero World Challenge.

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