Tiger Woods birdied his last three holes to finish his first round at the Genesis Invitational with a two-under 69 on Thursday from the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.
The 47-year-old played only nine competitive rounds of golf (and none after The Open Championship last July) in 2022. Woods has suffered significant injuries over the last two years, including comminuted open fractures to the tibia and fibula in his right leg after a single-car accident in February 2021. He didn't play competitively again until the 2022 season.
Remarkably, Woods looked fantastic on Thursday as a horde of people watched his every move.
Woods started the day with a birdie on the par-five first thanks largely to a fantastic chip on his third shot, leading to a four-foot putt.
The fifth hole proved to be adventurous after a tee shot landed in the rough on the side of the hill. His second shot fell into a bunker, but his third landed six feet from the hole. Woods cleaned up from there for the par.
Woods found a way to wiggle himself out of trouble time and again, like on the seventh hole, when he knocked this bunker shot to within 12 feet of the hole.
The birdie attempt did not fall, but he made par to stay at even through seven.
Another fantastic approach led to a stress-free birdie on No. 8.
Bogeys on the 10th and 12th knocked Woods down to one over par, but he bounced back with birdies on the final three holes, a rarity for anyone.
A fantastic tee shot on the par-three 16th led to this birdie:
The putter came through on the 17th, as Woods drilled a 24-foot birdie to get back to under par.
He polished off his round with this eight-foot birdie putt.
Woods' round was nothing short of sensational, and Twitter praised his efforts.
Woods, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy will tee off from the 10th hole at 10:24 a.m. ET to begin their second round on Friday.