Tiger Woods has up-and-down day in first event since April ankle surgery

Tiger Woods played competitive golf for the first time in more than seven months Thursday, hitting a 3-over 75 at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Woods, who turns 48 next month, is competing in his first tournament since withdrawing from the Masters in April and undergoing ankle surgery. Playing alongside Justin Thomas, Woods was solid early before giving way to inconsistency down the back nine. He hit four birdies, five bogeys, one double bogey and eight pars on the day.

“I was rusty. I didn’t have my feels and conditions were tough early,” Woods said on the NBC broadcast of the event, which is operated by his charitable foundation. “I kind of hung through there and I did not finish off my round the way I needed to, and consequently it kind of went sideways at the end.”

Woods has played in just five PGA Tour tournaments since suffering severe injuries to his right leg in a February 2021 car crash. The 15-time major champion had surgery to fuse his right ankle in April, soon after he withdrew during the weather-delayed third round of the Masters.

Woods is slotted 1,328th in the Official World Golf Ranking, a career-worst position that can be credited to his inactivity in recent seasons.

The former No. 1 golfer said he felt he could play competitively again after caddying for his son, Charlie, at the 54-hole Junior Golf National Championship in early November. In the lead-up to this week’s event, a 20-man, no-cut contest on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas, Woods said he was free of the “pain that I had at Augusta or pre-that in my ankle” but did not know what to expect of his performance.

He played nine holes at the Hero World Challenge pro-am Wednesday and did not seem to be laboring. He did not appear to struggle through Thursday’s round.

“I think the middle part of my round it was just a lack of commitment and it kind of carried over into some of the final holes,” Woods said.

Speaking about his body, he added: “Well, I’m a little bit sore, that’s for sure. We’ve got some stuff to do tonight to get ready for tomorrow, and then we’ll [head] back in the gym and get right after it tomorrow, and hopefully post a better number.”

Latest news
Related news