Woods starts well at Firestone

Tiger Woods is steadily starting to return to form as he started his title defence of WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with a with a two-under-par 68 at the Firestone Country Club on Thursday.

His impressive first round came exactly four months after he had back surgery and marked his best round since making his comeback a month ago.

“Overall, I was very pleased with today,” said Woods told ESPN Sport.
“I hit a lot of good shots.

Woods ended the first round four shots behind first-round leader Marc Leishman.

“I dropped shots at three holes out there today, got it right back on the very next hole. That was nice to have three good bounce-backs. Overall, it was a good, solid day.”

The all time great has won this tournament eight times in 15 previous attempts and beeded no reminder that the last of his PGA Tour titles was at the same course a year ago.

On that occasion he shot a second-round 61 and finished the tournament 15-under-par, winning by seven strokes.

On Thursday he carded six birdies, including five in the first 10 holes, but was disappointed to bogey the first hole when he three-putted from 10 feet.

He would made another bogey at the fourth when he missed the green and couldn’t get it up and down, then hit a poor drive at the ninth, left his second shot in the trees and made a double-bogey.

“I got a little ticked out there today because I know what I can do, and I know the shots that I need to hit, and I know I need to place the ball, and I didn’t do it a couple times,” he said.

“And I didn’t take advantage of some of the iron shots I had in there, too.
“Granted, I did have two kick-ins [close iron shots at the fifth and eighth holes]. Even you and [caddie] Joey [LaCava] could have made those two.

“So it was nice to have that, but more importantly, to have to be able to go three-for-three on the bounce-backs, that was nice.”