Woods, Thomas start strong at Honda Classic

23 February, 2018, 01:59 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland in the second round of the Genesis Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles Friday Feb. 16 2018

Woods had been undecided as late as early this week on whether he would play in the tournament for the first time since 2014. Back then, the tournament was held at Weston Hill G&C.

The Honda is always a tough test that in recent years has produced terrific winners (McIlroy, Fowler and Adam Scott have all hoisted the trophy here).

Feb 22, 2018; Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA; Tiger Woods lines up his putt on the ninth during the first round of The Honda Classic golf tournament at PGA National (Champion).

"I'm starting to get that feeling again of playing tournament golf, where you know each and every shot counts", the 42-year-old former world No. 1 said.

Woods is confident his return to the notoriously hard PGA National will be better than his last visit in 2014, when he walked off the course injured midway through the final round.

In the European event, 14/1 Thorbjorn Olesen and last year's victor, 18/1 Jeunghun Wang, are the only two players to trade at less than 20/1 - the price you can get on all of Andy Sullivan, Chris Wood and Julian Suri.

QUOTES: Wang is looking forward to trying to defend his title in Doha and said: "It feels really good to be the defending champion. And I've got some work to do".

This is Woods' third outing of the 2018 season.

"I played quite steady my front nine, which was the back nine, then I just scrambled my way around the front nine", Noren said. "It's a tough golf course".

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Following a slight delay, Woods found the fringe with his approach shot and two-putted for par.

Still, it was a pro-am, a casual round for which Woods rarely grinds.

McIlroy won this tournament in 2012. "I'd like to think that I'm a healthy person, working out, I love eating healthy".

"Play out of the fairway".

I'm close to picking him at 28s but it's his course debut so that's a big ask expecting him to win straight away. You have to hit fairways. The victor of 14 majors and 79 Tour titles has been woeful with the driver, hitting just 30 of 84 fairways in regulation, and erratic with his irons, hitting just 58 of 108 greens in regulation.

All of which Woods struggled to do at Riviera. Wednesday was his first look at the Champions course since he withdrew four years ago. "I felt very comfortable with my stroke, especially in this wind. It wasn't very good on Friday".

Woods acknowledges the crowd at Torrey Pines today.

Woods is expected to play only the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he has eight victories, before the Masters in a bid to preserve his recovering back. If he is looking for more starts, the Valspar Championship in two weeks would be a possibility.

If you've been itching ... to bet your money on Tiger Woods, this is the first week that I won't call you insane for doing it.


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