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Woods Returns With 3 Shots That Look Like the Tiger of Old | Sports News

By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Except for using in a cart as an alternative of strolling, Tiger Woods at instances seemed similar to he did a 12 months in the past in the PNC Championship on Saturday. Just not fairly often.

“Two good shots — three — came off exactly how I wanted,” Woods stated.

The reality he might play alongside 12-year-old son Charlie was sufficient of a hit contemplating the accidents to his proper leg from a automobile crash 10 months in the past in Los Angeles. Woods has stated medical doctors mentioned amputation. For three months, he stated he was immobilized in a makeshift hospital mattress at his house in Florida.

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He and Charlie mixed for a 62 in the scramble format, tied for fifth, three pictures behind Stewart and Reagan Cink.

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What he received out of this exceptional return had extra to do with camaraderie than competitors.

“We had so much fun out there,” Woods.

One of these pictures that stood out to Woods was on the par-5 third gap, the place he hit 4-iron from 220 yards that drew slight again towards the flag and settled 8 toes behind the gap. That was shot he noticed in his head after which in the air.

“That was just ridiculous,” Justin Thomas stated. “I looked at him and as soon as he sat in the cart, he just kind of looked at me and smiled. And I knew exactly that’s the kind of shots that he hits when he’s healthy.”

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Woods is wholesome sufficient to play the PNC Championship, a preferred year-end occasion for main champions and a member of the family. He’s simply not wholesome sufficient to be a daily golfer.

“I don’t have endurance. I haven’t played,” stated Woods, whose final competitors was the PNC Championship a 12 months in the past when he and his son completed seventh in opposition to a 20-team discipline.

(*3*)

Woods additionally talked about the fairway metallic he hit onto the inexperienced at the par-5 14th, and a 7-iron he smoked into the par-3 seventeenth, uncertain he might get there.

“It was one of my old shots,” Woods stated.

Thomas would have picked one other shot. He was decided that Woods, who turns 46 at the finish of the month and nonetheless walks gingerly from the damaged bones in proper leg and ankle, not hit a drive previous him. That modified on the eleventh gap.

“I hit it pretty good and as soon as his ball took that big bounce we looked at each other and I was like, ‘If it’s going to happen, it’s going to be this one because I think it just launched.’ And yeah, that was a shot to the ego,” Thomas said with a grin.

Woods showed the effects of his injuries in the way he walked, labored at times. The toughest walk belonged to Mike Thomas, the 62-year-old club professional with a bulging disk in his back that had been grimacing often.

“Definitely calling it a success both my dad and Tiger made it 18 holes,” Justin Thomas stated.

The aggressive facet in Woods confirmed in how proud he was that his workforce managed to maintain bogeys off their card for a 3rd consecutive 62 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando.

Thomas and his father shot 60 and had been one shot behind together with John Daly and his son. Vijay Singh and his son had been one other behind. Woods and son had been amongst six groups at 62, which included the oldest participant (Gary Player at 86) and youngest participant (Karl Stenson, the 11-year-old son of Henrik Stenson) in the discipline.

But this community TV present was all about Woods, the greatest attraction in sport, particularly now when scenes and experiences from his Feb. 23 automobile crash made it seem it could be a very long time, if ever, that he might play at any event.

“It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?” Nick Faldo stated. “To go from fearing that you can’t use your foot to standing, he’s gone through every stage and ticking every box with sheer hard work and amazing determination. Maybe this was a goal. This was a great goal for him to come and play with his boy.”

The event was a sellout, restricted to about 3,000 spectators, most of them chasing round Woods and his son, who delivered his share of good pictures. Just like final 12 months, Woods did not hassle hitting drives on the seventh and ninth holes as a result of Charlie performs from a ahead set of tees and pops it on the market with lots of distance.

“I was hoping that Charlie would drive it as well as he did today so I didn’t have to hit as many, save me for the short shots,” Woods stated. “I can still hit short irons and I can still putt. That has not left me. The speed and some of the shots — the longer stuff — has.”

The hardest half for Woods was being in a cart, which was essential for him play. Woods had stated he would by no means think about making use of to make use of a cart in a PGA Tour occasion; if that was the solely method to play, then he would not.

“In terms of hitting shots, he’s not that far away,” Thomas stated. “But in terms of being able to compete and walk 72 holes multiple weeks in a row, yeah, that’s a different story and he’s the only one who can answer that.”

For Woods, this was enjoyable golf, not the actual factor. For now, it was adequate.

For extra AP golf protection: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

This story has been up to date to revive first reference to Justin Thomas in eighth graf.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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