Tiger Woods would be the first to tell you that if he hits 12 of 13 fairways, he should shoot something in the mid 60's. He did exactly that on Thursday at the Hero World Challenge—the first part, that is—but a clunky putter and a sloppy triple bogey saw him squander the excellent driving and shoot a one-over 73.
He is tied for second-to-last place in the 18-man event in the Bahamas, ahead of only Hideki Matsuyama's 74. It is his highest opening round since the U.S. Open, where he shot 78-72 to miss the cut.
Making his first competitive stroke-play appearance since winning the Tour Championship in September—and first appearance since losing $9 million to Phil Mickelson last week—Woods look comfortable off the tee but virtually nowhere else. His iron play was sloppy, he had two three-putt bogeys on the front nine and shot himself in the foot with a triple-bogey 6 on the par-3 12th.
His tee shot found the hazard left of the hole, but the ball was sitting on grass and was certainly playable. He tried to play a bump-and-run shot but the ball landed into a hillside, rolled past his original divot and into water behind him. He took a drop from there and could not get up-and-down for double.
Woods would play the rest of the round in two under, making birdie at the par-5 14th and flagging an 8-iron to tap-in range on 18.
Woods was understandably terse after his round, saying "Didn't feel real comfortable with my game today, even though I drove it great." More surprisingly, he said he has been dealing with ankle soreness for months. Woods said he got sick after the matchup with Mickelson in Las Vegas but hadn't commented publicly on the ankles.