When Tiger Woods is on a PGA Golf Course, that means all eyes are on Tiger.Like it or not, he’s the biggest attraction in the history of the sport, and he’s playing his first round of competitive golf in nearly three months.
He tees off at the Bridgestone Invitational–World Golf Championship at 1:40 pm ET and we’ll have live updates throughout his round.
But there are other golfers out there and we’ll let you know if they do anything remarkable as well.
The current leader is Jason Day at -6.
1:31pm | New shoes.
Tiger warming up with his new Nike Free golf shoes. He’s switched to soft spikes for the first time in his pro career.
1:39pm | Here we go.
Tiger is teeing off on the first hole and playing with British Open champ Darren Clarke… who puts his tee shot in a fairway bunker.
1:41pm | On the beach.
Tiger joins Clarke in a right-side bunker. The anticipation is over. And we’re walking….
1:49pm | Clubhouse leader.
Jason Day has finished his round at 7-under par. He’s got a three-stoke lead over the rest of field.
1:54pm | First hole.
Tiger pars his first hole. A nice start after a not great first shot. Clarke gets a bogey.
1:56pm | Straighten it out.
Tiger goes right again, into another fairway bunker on the second tee. Sign of trouble?
2:06pm | Second hole.
Tiger recovers from a long approach shot and pars No. 2. It appears that he’s also switched putters, has had two nice two-putts from long distances.
2:14pm | A little erratic.
Tiger hits the fairway on 3, but then skies his second shot well over the green. Will need to negotiate a big up-and-down to make par.
2:19pm | Third hole.
Tiger’s chip was online, but about 30 feet past the hole. However, another great putt saves par. Looks like the new flatstick is working.
2:30pm | Fourth hole.
A great approach shot put Tiger 12 feet away for birdie, but he pushed the putt inches to the left. (Flatstick NOT WORKING?) He sinks the par putt to stay even for the round.
2:39pm | Fifth hole.
Tiger gets another birdie try on the par 3, 5th…. 8.5 feet … and he missed. Just hooked a little too much. Still even.
2:57pm | Another par.
Tiger pars the sixth and easily puts his tee shot on seventh on the green. Looong putt for birdie, coming up.
3:02pm | Seventh hole.
The birdie putt goes two feet past the hole. Another par. Seven in a row. Effective, but a little boring. (Where’s the wild double bogeys? An eagle?)
3:07pm | A little action.
Tiger’s most interesting shot of the day? His tee shot on eight nearly hits a Golf Channel camera crew.
3:09pm | An eagle!
But not for Tiger. Darren Clarke holes out from the fairway for an eagle on 8. Tiger’s second shot goes into the sandtrap near the green.
3:24pm | Eighth hole.
Tiger gets his up and down for yet another par.
3:28pm | Ninth hole.
Another up and down save and nice putt for par. Nine pars on the front. Nice and clean.
3:41pm | BIRDIE.
And we have a birdie! Tiger gets his first red number on the 10th hole. That moves him into a tie for 34th place.
3:54pm | Back-to-back.
After a drive down the middle of the fairway, and a beautiful approach, Tiger has another birdie on 11. -2 for the day, and now he’s in the top 20.
4:04pm | Back to par.
Tiger pars the shot 12th, after overshooting the cup and two-putting.
4:29pm | His first slip of the day.
After overshooting the green and hitting the sand on 14, Tiger duffed his chip shot and landed on the fringe. His par putt just missed, and he has his first bogey of the day. Back to 1-under.
4:31pm | In other news…
Adam Scott moves to 5-under, two shots off the lead. His caddy? Tiger’s just-fired bagman Steve Williams.
4:45pm | Testing the legs.
Tiger just unleashed a wickedly powerful shot out of the rough on 16. He hooked a fairway wood a few hundred yards and dropped the ball right in position for a good approach. There was a lot of torque on what was easily his hardest swing of the day, but knee seems to be holding up well.
4:54pm | Huge putt.
After his approach, Tiger drops a looooog birdie putt on 16. We’re not saying he’s “back” yet, but that was quite a hole for him. Two under for the day.
4:55pm | Scott takes the lead.
Adam and Stevie have moved into a tie for the lead at 7-under. Scott has four birdies on the back nine.
5:05pm | Yet another par..
Another par for Tiger on 17 after just missing a birdie put by inches.
5:08pm | Grip and rip.
They haven’t all been straight, but Tiger is cranking it on his drives. The injuries do not seem to be a factor at all.
5:20pm | The end.
Tiger finishes with another par on 18. -2 for the day, five shots back of the leaders in a tie for 18th place.
5:24pm | The putt.
Here’s a video of Tiger’s fantastic putt on 16, his best of the day.
5:28pm | Scott takes the lead.
Adam Scott moves to 8-under with one hole still to play. He’s had the lead all by himself.
5:32pm | Analysis.
So what to make of Tiger’s day? Well, the fact that he could come back after a three month layoff and shoot under par is a tremendous step forward for him. He was a little wild off the tees, but his putter, which had abandoned him the last two years, was his best friend today.
Most importantly, he was not holding back on his big swings and his legs did not seem to be bothering him. We’ll see if that’s still the case on Sunday, when he’s been walking for four days, but all in all, he has to be pleased with how the first day turned out.
Can he do it again tomorrow? Stay tuned. His tee time is 9:50 am.
5:47pm | Day’s over.
Adam Scott finishes the day alone in first place at 8-under par.
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