Honda Classic: Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas start strong in Round 1

Dean Simpson
February 23, 2018

Although he didn't manage to join that group, Woods called it the best ball-striking round of his latest comeback, which has included a tie for 23rd at Torrey Pines last month and a missed cut at Riviera in Los Angeles last week.

Tiger Woods flips his club after a putt on the 15th green, but considering the conditions at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., did well to end up with 70.

Fellow American Rickie Fowler recorded a 1-over 71, a shot better than defending Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who had four birdies and six bogeys on a hard day.

He added, that of course Tiger should focus on majors - he's done that his whole career. "This was by far my best putting and chipping round of the season".

"I'm starting to really get a feel for scoring in tournaments, and today was a day that I'm very proud of because I missed the ball in the correct spots".

The only real hiccup came on the par-5 third, where Woods drove into a fairway bunker, laid up to 150 yards, hit 6-iron into a greenside bunker, pitched out to only the fringe, chipped five feet past the hole and missed the one coming back before tapping in for double. I feel like that's putting yourself under an bad lot of pressure.

"I'm so happy I'm not in pain anymore, but I'm fused, so it's a little bit different", he said. I just needed to get better at it. I was super-nervous. The second time I played with him I was like, 'OK, he's just like the rest of us.' He's a welcoming guy, but there is an aura about him that you have to get used to.

"I'm very pleased", Woods said. I know most of the guys have been playing tournament golf a lot more than I have. There's not much of an advantage because hardly anyone plays PGA National the other 51 weeks of the year.

They're one clear of Oliver Fisher, former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari, Spain's Alvaro Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider.

"I was just excited to be there, " Kizzire said.

"I'm just learning how to play tournament golf again, and unfortunately I've made some of my mistakes, and that's just part of it", he said. "I felt like I hit the ball really well, and it was tough out there".

"I've been doing it since I was 19 years old, been a long time and I've enjoyed every single challenge. But I feel great".

"Feast or starvation - that's what my history's been here". "Today was not easy".

McIlroy admitted he was happy not to be paired with Tiger Woods again after saying the circus surrounding the 14-time major victor in last week's Genesis Open left him with a headache.

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