A look at each shot: Tiger Woods shoots a 3-over 75 Thursday in 2023 at the Hero World Challenge.
A look at each shot: Tiger Woods shoots a 3-over 75 Thursday in 2023 at the Hero World Challenge.

If you missed Tiger Woods’s first round of the 2023 Hero World Challenge on Thursday afternoon, don’t worry. We’ll show it to you anyway.

For the first time since the Masters, the 15-time major winner played in the 2023 Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas this week. Woods, who is 47 years old, is playing in his first tournament since he had a subtalar fusion surgery to treat the arthritis he got after breaking one of the bones in his ankle (the talus). He said that the pain he was in at Augusta National is gone.

At 11:52 a.m. ET in the first round, Woods teed off with Justin Thomas. Check out his round from Thursday in the Bahamas, along with a shot-by-shot breakdown, below.

Thoughts before the round

When I first saw the Big Cat today, I thought, “Man, that guy looks totally jacked.”

It was great to hear Woods talk to the press on Tuesday. He wants to play once a month, a lot of his pain is gone, and he still believes he can win. But let’s not get too excited about the week. He also said that he hasn’t played many full games, just a lot of holes. For Woods right now, anything close to par is a step in the right direction.

The first hole is a par 4.

We’re now leaving. Tiger hit the first tee with a big stick and quickly picked up his tee. He easily got out of a hole 295 yards down the fairway on his first swing of the day, while Justin Thomas missed to the right. Tiger hit a wedge shot from 113 yards out that just missed the front edge of the green. This left him with a putt for birdie from below the hole that he could make. Had a good roll on this one, but missed on the amateur side of the hole. That meant I had to start the round with a par. The Big Cat did pretty well to begin with.

TIGER OF THE DAY: Even after the first hole.

Hole 2 – Par 3

The first hole showed us the driver and wedge. Now, let’s see how well the irons work on the first par-3 of the day.

He told his ball, “C’mon, hit it, don’t go that way,” as he saw it land in the pit that stood on the right side of the green. He has a lot of green to work with, so he should be able to make another par from there.

He took some of the meat off the bone but left some on it. Tried to hit it short on the green and let it fly, but his ball stopped eight to ten feet from the hole. It doesn’t matter; Tiger makes the long par save with a smooth stroke of that famous Scott Cameron putter.

TIGER OF THE DAY: Even after two holes.

Hole 3: Par 5

Person who drives. A fairway. Even though he’s only had two hits, Tiger looks good with the big stick right away. He is pretty far to the left in the middle of the fairway. This is a fairway metal that is going for the green in two, but it comes up short and to the right of the green, giving you plenty of room to work with. Even though it will be hard for him, this one was missed in the right spot.

Give this one a good shot, and the chip goes past the hole, leaving about eight feet for another birdie chance. Tiger walks this one around inside the cup and scores his first circle. He should feel a little more energised after hearing that early bird.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under through 3.

Hole 4: Par four

Tiger hits another 300-yard or longer shot here at the par-4 fourth hole. Boom! He’s on the right side of the fairway, and the back pin is just over 180 yards away. While Tiger was making his move, he kept saying “no, no, no.” His ball fell on the green, but it kicked off to the right. He’ll have to make another chip shot to get par, but this time he’ll have a lot less green to work with.

He hit this one with a bump-and-run into a hill to try to get it close to the cup, but it went well past the hole, leaving him with a tough 17-foot chance for par. He had a good roll, but the pace didn’t match the line, so he had to tap in for bogey and give up his birdie right away.

TIGER OF THE DAY: All the way through 4.

Hole 5: A par three

Tiger is even as he stands on the tee box at the last par 3 on the front nine. He has made a run of birdies and bogeys. The win is blowing down in the Bahamas and hitting players in the face today on No. 5. Tiger hit a 6-iron to the green on the 177-yard hole, which was just short of the hole. He will try to make a birdie for the day from just inside 30 feet up here. Putting has been easy, but this view from far away will be a good test.

BANG! (voice of Mike Breen). Tiger made this putt into the cup without any trouble. Without a doubt. Drops a shot and then picks it up again right away. Tiger doesn’t lack confidence, but that will help him a lot as the front nine goes on.

TODAY’S TIGER: 1 under to 5.

Hole 6: Par 5

Another chance at birdie at this par-5 hole, and Tiger makes another beautiful swing with the driver off the tee, this time a cut down the fairway. Really good swing on the driver, I can’t say it enough. A lot of his power has to come from his upper body these days because his lower body hurts and gives him trouble. For now, it seems to work.

He cut this one VERY HARD and tried to hit a sweeping hook around the corner with that classy helicopter finish on top. His second hit the rough next to the green, but his third shot has been quite a while coming. The player ahead of him, Scottie Scheffler, was having trouble in the bushes to the right of the green. Justin Thomas was asking for a drop.

When Tiger finally hit his shot, it fell short of the green and just off the front edge. In that case, he can use the putter or a club, but it looks like fill-in caddie Rob McNamara gave him the tried-and-true Scotty Cameron flatstick. He tried to make this putt for birdie, but he sped it past the cup, leaving himself a five-footer for par. That’s not it, though. A mistake right after another birdie gave it away, and now things are even.

Even up to 6 a.m.

Hole 7: Par 4

At the seventh hole, which is a shorter par 4, the Big Cat once again pulls the big stick. Today, the hole can be driven, 340 yards to the front edge, but he knew this one wouldn’t work out. He hits the ball into one of the three bunkers that surround the green. From the sand, it will be a long way to the pin at the back of the green. Even though the swing looked good and wasn’t off, the distance wasn’t right.

From the bunker, he hit this shot too hard and it went a little fat and heavy. This left him with a tough shot from up against the collar off the green, which is still more than 50 feet away. He plays this hole with a wedge and hits a little bump-and-run to three feet for par. It didn’t take him long.

Even up to 7 a.m.

Hole 8: Par 3

This hole doesn’t need much of an explanation since Tiger hit the dance floor off the tee and left himself another 30-footer for birdie. He had a good look at this one, but just missed the edge. He made his five-footer to stay even and save par. Getting on with it.

THE TIGER OF THE DAY: Even until 8 p.m.

Hole 9: Par 5

Tiger hit this shot into another hole off the tee. It was probably his worst swing of the day so far with the big stick, though it wasn’t that bad. He did a good job just getting his second shot up the fairway, but his approach shot was a bit off, and he missed the green short again. He hit a cool little chip that was aimed at the hole but just missed the side. His par putt never left the hole and went all the way to the bottom of the cup, giving him an even-par 36.

TIGER OF THE DAY: until 9 p.m.

Thoughts as the page turned

I said at the beginning that Tiger would win if he got even with the course. So far, so good. He did well to make a few birdies early on, but the next hole saw him give them both back with bogeys. His giddy-up is smooth, and he’s walking pretty well on the first nine, though he’s being careful with his steps and when he bends down. Cameron’s putter stroke is still as smooth as glass. How long can this last? That’s the real question. Look around.

Hole 10: Par 4

At No. 10, Tiger starts the back nine with another great shot. He hit this shot from the right side of the fairway, and the green was 14 feet below the hole. Another great roll just missed the edge, and Tiger made par. He’s making the game look easy so far today after a long break from it.

Even up to 10 a.m.

Hole 11: Par 5

Today, my first shaky swing with the driver goes off the fairway and into the thick rough that protects a fairway bunker. From there, Tiger could only make it up the fairway by making a shot. It was his first shaky lie with his feet below the ball, which made things uncomfortable, but it didn’t end up being a problem. Near where the hole is cut today, there is a big drop off the back of the green. Tiger’s approach is safe here and hits the middle of the green, giving him another long chance for birdie. Wow, another sure thing goes into the cup for a great birdie putt. The Big Cat even smiled a little after this bomb of a putt that went straight for the hole. He hasn’t made a birdie since the fifth hole. Let’s hope he doesn’t lose this one on the next hole either.

TIGER OF THE DAY: 1 under to 11

Hole 12: Par 3

Tiger missed this one to the right of the green and hit it in the sand more than 20 yards away from the hole. As you can see, his shot was pretty good. It went around the hole, leaving him with a putt from five feet out to save par. Not going to happen. He blows the par save and then, for the third time today, quickly wastes a birdie by making a bogey on the next hole.

Even up to 12 o’clock in the morning.

Hole 13: Par 4

MUSHED POTATOES. Hit this drive 334 yards down the left side of the fairway. His short iron shot went straight at the hole and landed 20 feet past the pin, past the hole. Tiger made two great shots in a row to try to get back to within one stroke of par. There is a little too much butter on the bread for this one to fit through the hole. It doesn’t matter; par is saved, and we move on to the next.

The tiger all day, even up to age 13.

Hole 14: Par 4

On this short par 4, another big hit with the driver lands just right of the green. Five out of ten greens will be hit, but that doesn’t tell the whole story for the round. Taking everything into account, he’s hitting the driver pretty well. A cool little chip came close to the hole but missed, leaving a tap-in for birdie.

Today, Tiger On The Day is for kids ages 1 to 14.

Hole 15: Par 5

Wow, Tiger will have to work hard to avoid making another bogey after making a birdie. He hit this tee shot way left into the trees. What a mistake! I tried to take the Hero shot (see what I did there?) but missed it from the trees. For his third, all he had to do was hit the ball back out to the green. That is more than one mistake that could hurt him.

Tiger hits his fourth shot from 300 yards out, but his 3 wood sticks short and to the right of the green while still being in the fairway. This leaves him with a 40-yard pitch for his fifth shot, which will at least cause one shot to go out of bounds. Put his tee shot nine feet past the hole, giving himself a chance to save bogey, but it didn’t work out, and he tapped in for double. That is painful.

TIGER OF THE DAY: 1 through 15.

Hole 16: Par 4

Drives are getting worse as more of them hit the hole. This one leaves a tough 200-yard shot to the green. He hits the ball very high, but he misses the green to the right. For Tiger, another birdie means that the wheels on the round are coming off, coming off, coming off. His drive to the green left him with a 20-foot putt that was too low and to the left to make par. After a rough start, Tiger was having a great round, but the last two holes cost him.

Today’s tigers are 2 over and 16 over.

Hole 17: Par 3

As Tiger pulls this 7-iron, I find myself in the middle of the dance floor at a wedding. There is no doubt that it is a tough shot that will leave him with a long birdie putt to end his first round. Did a good job with this, but the pasta didn’t go with the sauce. It took him five feet to hit this shot, and he lipped it out for par, which put him further behind par.

THE TIGER OF THE DAY: 3 over to 17.

Hole 18: Par 4

Great swing off the tee to end the day, and he finally makes it back to the green here. The driver started to leak on the back nine, and a good swing at 18 will help him a lot going into the second round. You can hit a safe shot that hits the front half of the green. With two putts, you should be able to finish the last three holes. He’s already made two 30-footers today, so why not make one more? With one more good look, he gets a tap-in par to stop the mistake and seal the deal for a rusty return to competition.

TIGER OF THE DAY: 3 over 75.

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