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Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods ‘very pleased’ after finishing three-under in return at Farmers Insurance Open

Woods wrapped up his first PGA Tour tournament in a year with an even-par 72 at windswept Torrey Pines

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 January, 2018, 3:46pm
UPDATED : Monday, 29 January, 2018, 3:46pm

Tiger Woods said his quality of life has immensely improved after spinal fusion surgery last April.

The quality of his golf is an ongoing matter.

In his traditional Sunday red-and-black ensemble and in front of the typical massive gallery walking in step, Woods wrapped up his first PGA Tour tournament in a year with an even-par 72 at windswept Torrey Pines to finish at three-under in the Farmers Insurance Open and in a tie for 23rd.

It was an erratic 72 holes peppered with some vintage magic, as Woods hit just 17 of 56 fairways and 42 of 72 greens in regulation but scrambled superbly in his rounds of 72-71-70-72.

“Very pleased,” Woods said. “I fought hard for these scores. These weren’t yawners ... down the middle, on the green, two-putt and one-hand all your second putts in the hole. I had to fight for every score on every hole and sometimes those are more pleasing than the boring rounds. It showed that I had heart. I fought my tail off and it was good stuff.”

Whoever is going to win will be fighting his tail off as well. 

Jason Day, making his own comeback from a miserable 2017, and Alex Noren, a nine-time winner on the European Tour, were tied after five play-off holes and will come back Monday morning to finish.

Ryan Palmer was eliminated on the first extra hole with a par-5 while the other two birdied. 

After Woods made a soft return to the game in last month’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, where he tied for ninth in a field of 18, he ramped up his work in Florida ahead of the Farmers Insurance Open, which he has won a record seven times. He said he’ll do the same ahead of his next start, the Genesis Open February 15-18 at Riviera Country Club north of Los Angeles.

“I can feel some of the things I’m doing wrong in my swing, so we’re going to go back to work,” Woods said. “It’s nice to have two weeks off, but it’s more important that I got this tournament under my belt where I can feel some of the things I need to work on because hometown speed versus game speed is two totally different things.

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“I got a lot out of my rounds. The short game wasn’t something I was worried about coming into this week. It was going to be, can I shoot low scores? I didn’t, but I grinded out some good rounds.”

The Farmers was the first time Woods finished 72 holes on the PGA Tour – and made the cut – since the Wyndham Championship in August 2015. Joe LaCava, Woods’ caddie, was most impressed with his boss’s health and said there is plenty of good to build on going forward.

“Obviously, he has to drive it better. The short game looked pretty tight, and that’s always a plus. And he looks comfortable putting,” LaCava said. “He just needs to get back to Florida to get more practice in, get more reps and get tournaments under his belt.

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“Ninety holes over five days, I know he did that in the Bahamas but those were three-and-a-half-hour rounds and now we’re playing five-hour rounds. That makes a difference, because you’re adding about seven, eight hours where you’re on your feet, playing golf, thinking mentally and hitting shots. So I’m glad he got through that. Actually it’s 99 holes with the practice round on Tuesday. So going forward, I’m not going to say health isn’t going to be an issue, but it certainly looks better than it has.”