Tiger out of his cage
Tiger Woods impressed in his practice round at his return to golf at the Masters after an injury-forced sabbatical.
The former world number one has not played professionally since he walked off the course at the Farmers Insurance Open in the first week of February. However, Woods last week confirmed he would be playing at Augusta.
“It’s been a process,” said the 39-year-old in his website.
“But I’m on the good side now. It’s a progression. I felt like I had to get my game into a spot where I could compete to win a golf tournament, and it’s finally there.”
According to CBS Sports’ Geoff Shackelford, who watched Woods practice nine holes with Mark O’Meara, the 14-time Major champion looked back his best.
“If the range swagger was a statement, the body language on course all but spilled over the top,” said Shackelford on cbssports.com.
“Woods blew his first tee shot into his usual spot on the 9th fairway, where Woods also gets his mail when he’s in Augusta. Anyway, Woods then hit his approach to six feet and he quickly knocked in a birdie as if it was a mere afterthought.
“He then took two wedges and two balls, and the crowd grew eerily quiet. But Woods moved around the diabolical first green hitting all manner of shots, showing no signs of distress.”
The four-time Masters winner admitted that it felt good to be back out on the course.
“It was nice to get out here,” added Woods, who recently slipped out of the top 100.
“It was a little bit faster than we played it last week. Chipping is fine. I wanted to test out some wedges. That was why I was chipping a little bit more. It came down to a couple different bounce settings because it’s different from Florida. We figured the right one out.”
Meanwhile, playing partner O’Meara was also suitably impressed with Woods.
“I saw some good signs,” revealed O’Meara.
“His pitching looks a lot better. He’s worked really hard on it. There’s a lot of pressure on him; there has been his whole life. But if he swings the way he is capable of and pitches and rolls the putter, there’s no reason he can’t have a good week.”
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Lucas Glover edges past Patrick Cantlay to claim back-to-back Tour wins
Glover, 43, ultimately claimed victory with a par on the 18th hole playoff after Cantlay found water off the tee.
Lilia Vu wins second major as Charley Hull comes up short despite stunning eagle
American Vu added the Women’s Open title to her Chevron Championship.
Lucas Glover holds onto lead in Memphis with Tommy Fleetwood two strokes behind
Glover said it was a scrappy day but he got ‘a lot out of’ what he had.
Charley Hull shares lead with Lilia Vu heading into final day of Women’s Open
The pair are nine under for the tournament.
On This Day in 2007 – Tiger Woods claims 13th major with victory in Oklahoma
The world number one successfully defended his US PGA Championship title.
Ally Ewing out to emulate Brian Harman with Open win
The pair share their southern roots, passion for hunting and college teams named the Bulldogs.
Ally Ewing storms clear during second round of AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath
At 10 under par Ewing enjoyed a five-shot lead over compatriot Andrea Lee and Japan’s Minami Katsu.
Jordan Spieth leads by one after first round of FedEx St Jude Championship
England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Aaron Rai are the best of the British contingent, closing out Thursday on four under par.
Rory McIlroy delighted with Tiger Woods’ role on PGA Tour’s policy board
Woods, 47, has not played since withdrawing from April’s Masters and concedes his playing opportunities will be extremely limited going forward.