Tiger opens strong at Bay Hill in key Masters tuneup

16 March, 2018, 01:59 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • Tiger Woods is back and will now be looking forward to the Masters in less than a month

That performance saw some bookmakers install the 14-time major victor as a joint-favourite for the upcoming Masters alongside world number one Dustin Johnson, but Woods was keen to avoid getting carried away with the hype.

The 14-time major champion, among the early starters on a Bay Hill layout where he has won seven times before, showed the peak form that sparked his best finish in five years last week and none of the back pain that sidelined him most of the past two seasons. He followed with two birdies on par 5s and a 70-foot birdie putt for a 68 on the course where he has won a record eight times. "My body doesn't really want to do this because it's cold, but just push through it and then as soon as I get to that tee the competitive juices start flying".

Woods looks to be going from strength to strength with this touch of finesse on the 7th hole at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

"It's taken a few tournament rounds under my belt to be able to get into this position (regularly), but I've got my tournament feels now, which is nice". "I've been away from it for so long that, when I first came back it was just a matter of getting my feel for tournament golf again", he said.

The temperature had warmed considerably by the time Paul Goydos began play as part of the first afternoon threesome off No. 10.

At the par-3 second, Woods found a bunker but blasted out inches from the cup to save par but stumbled on his next swing, blasting his tee shot way right on the third hole on his way to a double bogey six.

Regardless of whether Tiger's first-round showing results in a win, he is looking more and more like a true threat to be a contender at next month's Masters.

Tiger Woods liked his putt on the 15.

Patrick Reed, who bogeyed the 72nd hole in the Valspar Championship to miss out on a play-off with Casey, was alongside Woods on four under, with England's Justin Rose a shot behind after a remarkable fightback. "But everyone says that, I'm not different", he said.

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