Woods battles back

Tiger Woods found himself in a spot of bother after the opening few holes at the Quicken Loans National, but bounced back well enough.

The former world number one started with a poor tee shot on the first, which lead to a bogey. Woods would drop two more shots over the next three holes, putting him three over after four holes, an all too familiar sight this year.

However, this time, the 14-time major winner battled back. After a nerve-calming birdie on the fifth, he would roll in one more birdie on the front nine.

It was the home run that made Woods’ round, as he rolled in four birdies in a row from the tenth to the 13th for the first time since the 2013 WGC Bridgestone Invitational, which incidentally was the last event he won.

The American hit every green in regulation on the back nine, leading to a number of birdie opportunities on the final few holes that just slipped by. Nonetheless, Woods was content with his three under 68, which is five strokes off co-leaders Retief Goosen and Ryo Ishikawa.

“I’ve been playing well, hitting the golf ball well, feel like my putting has been good,” said the 39-year-old on ESPN.

“Just stay with it and it will turn if I stay patient, which I did and then I had a run there. That’s what scoring is all about. You’ve got to score, and I made a lot of key putts today. I ran them by the hole, but I made all the comebacks, and overall I felt like I hit the ball well enough to turn it around. It was nice to actually turn it around.”

Woods is coming off a disappointing missed cut at The Open Championship, where rounds of 75 and 75 saw him finish seventh from the bottom.

However, the hard work he and swing coach Chris Como have put in since then seems to be paying off.

“We worked on a little bit of my through swing, fixed a couple of things I felt like were off and put it to good use the last six days,” added Woods.

“I really felt comfortable here. I’m hitting shots. I’ve played three practice rounds out here, which I normally don’t do. It was important for me to get out here and play.”