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Tiger Woods closes 'indifferent' PGA Tour comeback with shank shocker at Genesis Invitational

Tiger Woods marked his first official PGA Tour start since The Masters with a one-over 72 in California, leaving him eight strokes behind early leader Patrick Cantlay; Watch the Genesis Invitational throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf

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Highlights from Tiger Woods' first round at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Golf Course

Tiger Woods experienced brilliant birdies, frustrating bogeys and even a shank during an eventful PGA Tour comeback at the Genesis Invitational.

The tournament host, making his first appearance of 2024 and first in an official PGA Tour event since withdrawing mid-round from The Masters in April, mixed five birdies with six bogeys with a one-over 72 at Riviera Country Club.

Woods made two birdies in three holes on his front nine and was still in red figures with seven holes to go, with the 15-time major champion showing plenty of positive signs in his first outing wearing his new 'Sun Day Red' clothing.

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After bogeying the second and third holes, Tiger Woods recovered with birdies at the fourth and sixth holes to move back to one-under-par at the Genesis Invitational

The former world No 1 only registered seven pars on an eclectic scorecard, with an inexplicable shank from the final fairway resulting in a closing bogey and leaving him eight strokes off the clubhouse lead.

Explaining the shank, Woods told Golf Channel: "Well, my back spasmed on it. It has been spasming the last like three holes and it just locked up on me. Didn't move, didn't rotate and presented hosel first!"

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Tiger Woods reflected on his first round at the Genesis Invitational and revealed he had a back spasm during his shanked approach on the last hole of the day

Mixed day for Tiger

Woods - playing alongside Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland - got up and down from off the green to take advantage of the par-five first but bogeyed the next after a poor chip from just wide of the putting surface.

The 48-year-old responded to missing from seven feet to save par at the third by rolling in from 15 feet at the par-three fourth, then followed his first par of the day at the fifth by draining a 15-footer at the par-three next to move into red figures.

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Tiger Woods makes a brilliant start to his return at Genesis Invitational at Riviera, with a birdie on the par-five first

Woods made a good two-putt at the seventh for the first of three consecutive pars, seeing him turn in 34, but bogeyed the driveable par-four 10th after finding the greenside bunker off the tee and then seeing his pitch away from the hole run off the green.

He responded brilliantly to convert a putt from the fringe at the par-five 11th, although failed to scramble a par from the sand at the next and required a stunning up and down from the rough at the 13th to avoid back-to-back bogeys.

Woods slipped back over par with a dropped shot at the 15th, his fifth bogey of the day, then made a two-putt birdie at the par-five 17th to get back to level par after reaching the green in two.

The 82-time PGA Tour winner found the fairway off the final tee, only to find the hosel with his approach and finish behind the tree. Woods responded to pitch through a gap to 15 feet but was unable to salvage a closing par.

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Tiger Woods hit an incredible shank shot on his approach to the 18th hole as he bogeyed the last to finish on one-over-par at the first round of the Genesis Invitational

"My round was good and a little bit indifferent," Woods told Golf Channel. "I struggled with the speed of the greens, even though I made a few. They were a lot faster than I'd ever seen Riviera before.

"I didn't feel like I hit a lot of greens today. I missed a lot and was stressing out on the short game. I mean, I had maybe about five days today or something stupid [seven]. It was making either birdies or bogeys."

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The PGA Tour live team take a closer look at Tiger Woods' swing during the Genesis Invitational and how it has evolved over time

Woods finished 18th out of 20 in his last start at December's Hero World Challenge but has made just seven official appearances at PGA Tour events since November 2020, with injuries limiting his playing schedule in recent years.

"Foot's good," Woods told the media post-round. "Leg's a little bit sore, things are a little bit sore, but that's to be expected. That's nothing that we weren't prepared for and we've got some work to do tonight and tomorrow."

Live PGA Tour Golf

The Genesis Invitational is the third Signature Event of the season on the PGA Tour, with Woods needing to finish his second round inside the top 50 and ties or within 10 strokes of the lead to make the halfway cut.

Watch the Genesis Invitational throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues Friday with early coverage from 3.30pm, ahead of full coverage from 8pm. Stream the majors, PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and more on NOW.

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