Tiger Woods carded a three-over 75 to leave himself eight strokes behind leaders Brian Harman and Tony Finau; watch Woods in action at the Hero World Challenge throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf
Friday 1 December 2023 13:48, UK
Tiger Woods admitted to making mental mistakes and feeling "rusty" after making a costly finish to his opening round at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
Woods, making his first appearance since withdrawing mid-round from The Masters in April, started positively before dropping four shots in a three-hole stretch on his back nine to stutter to a three-over 75.
The former world No 1 mixed four birdies with five bogeys and a double-bogey during an eventful start, leaving him eight strokes behind co-leaders Tony Finau and Brian Harman and 18th in the 20-man field.
"I was rusty, I didn't have my feels and conditions were tough early," Woods told the Golf Channel. "I kind of hung through there, and I did not finish off my round when I needed to. Consequently, it kind of went sideways at the end."
Woods was under par for his round until a costly double-bogey at the par-five 15th, where he found a bush off the tee and was only able to advance his next shot a couple of feet forward, with further bogeys over the next two holes slipping him further down the leaderboard.
"I had really a lack of commitment through most of the middle part of my round and finishing," Woods explained. "I just didn't quite commit to what I was doing and feeling.
"Instead of reacting to it, I was thinking about doing it. Then as I was thinking about it, should I do this or not, by then I'm pulling the trigger. I shouldn't really pull the trigger. Hit a bad shot. I kept doing it time and time again.
"It was a lack of commitment to what I was doing and feeling. I've got to do a better job of it. I wanted to compete, I wanted to play. I felt like I was ready to compete and play. I hit it solid most of the day. As I said, I just didn't mentally do the things I normally would do and I need to do."
Woods said pre-tournament he not longer felt pain in the ankle he underwent surgery on in April but experienced discomfort in other parts of the body, with that more apparent after his first competitive round in 236 days.
"I'm sore, there's no doubt about that," Woods added. "We've got some work to do tonight. Tomorrow [Friday] get back in the gym and activate and get ready for it. Hopefully hit some better shots."
Asked where he felt sore, Woods said: "Everywhere...My leg, my back, my neck. Just from playing, hitting shots and trying to hold off shots. It's just different at game speed, too. Game speed's a lot different than at home speed."
Watch Tiger Woods' comeback at the Hero World Challenge throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues Friday from 5.30pm on Sky Sports Golf. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and more with NOW.