Tiger Woods faced a significant test on Thursday as he once again returned to golf. The three-wood shot around the trees of the 16th hole at Firestone required him to go at it hard and cut back his swing to produce a sharp fade, with the momentum carrying his body forward in an awkward step. Of course, Tiger made light of the shot and said he felt no problem with it.
Despite a couple of hiccups, he still managed three birdies and an impressive 30 foot putt on the 16th, sending a strong statement that his leg may indeed be back to the health he believed it to be at.
Woods said he felt great and that he was of course, as anybody else who has ever been away injured would be, a little nervous to see exactly what would happen. His practice sessions went by smoothly and he therefore saw no reason why he should be worried – therefore gave it both barrels.
His two under par final score was far from a talking point, even if it had marked his lowest opening round of the year so far. The conditions were such that 50% of the 78 players broke par, which is a record for any round in the 12 year history of the Championship at Firestone.