LOS ANGELES — Tiger WoodsHe played 16 holes, and walked 18 in Wednesdays Genesis Invitational Pro-Am Wednesday morning. This was his first round of golf public since missing the cut at last years Open Championship in St. Andrews.
Woods, with whom you will play Justin Thomas Rory McIlroyThe first two rounds of Thursdays tournament began Wednesday morning. Woods arrived at Riviera County Club Wednesday before sunrise to practice at the range before his 6:30 a.m. Tee time. Woods teed off as the sun was just peeking over the horizon, and the temperature was in low 40s. It remained that way throughout the nine holes. However, the wind picked up a lot. Woods, who appeared to be wearing multiple layers, seemed comfortable swinging, but it was cold.
Woods stated Tuesday that he is rusty but has come out of a rusty situation before, and hes done well. Plus, I know the golf course. Although I dont have a lot of success here, I knew what I needed to practice for and how to get ready.
Woods walk was more natural than usual during Wednesdays round. There was no obvious limp, but he did take care when navigating steep slopes. He seemed to be walking more cautiously and not putting too much weight onto his ankles by the end of the back nine. Woods took his time walking back to the clubhouse after he picked up his ball at the 16th hole. He didnt take a cart.
The 15-time major winner stated Tuesday that hitting shots is not an issue for Woods, but walking and his right ankle have been the most difficult. Woods said that his leg and plantar fasciitis are improving, but the challenge of walking 72 holes in four days is still daunting. However, he doesnt believe he should be here to win.
Woods said Tuesday, I wouldnt have put myself out there if I didn’t think I could defeat these guys and win it. Thats how I think.
Woods also spent extra time Wednesday on the greens — at Riviera, they tend to be the smallest and most difficult on the PGA Tour — and practiced extra putts from different locations. Woods was able to hit a driver and a 3-wood on the par-4 9th hole. He laughed when his approach shot was snubbed in a greenside bunker.
Woods was nearly two years old when he was seriously hurt in a car accident. This week, Woods hosts the tournament. Woods was then treated for multiple injuries to his right leg, foot, and at one point, he said that surgeons nearly had his right leg amputated. Woods has remained in minors since then.
Woods said Tuesday that I know Im unlikely to be playing a full-time schedule and I have to pick and select what Im going in and it will not be very extensive. So Ill give all my energy to those events.