‘Return after 7 months’ Woods, tied for 27th in 3 consecutive buddy shows… Im Seong-jae also ranked 27th (overall)
Golf Emperor’ Tiger Woods (48, USA) successfully finished the first round of the PGA Tour Genesis Invitational (total prize money of 20 million dollars), his comeback after 7 months.
In the first round of the tournament held at the Riviera Country Club (par 71) in Pacific Palisades, California on the 17th (Korean time), Woods hit 2 under par 69 with 5 birdies and 3 bogeys.
He is currently tied for 27th after the first round ended in the sunset, and is 5 strokes behind the co-leaders Max Horma and Keith Mitchell (above USA).
Woods, who showed off his long hitting power by sending a driver shot 338 yards despite his right foot being uncomfortable after a major car accident two years ago, had a fairway landing rate of 42.86% (6/14), green accuracy rate of 66.67% (12/18), and number of putts 27. recorded the dog.
Woods hit his tee shot 331 yards on the 3rd hole (par 4), 322 yards on the 8th hole (par 4) and 323 yards on the 9th hole (par 4).
Woods, who was cruising with 1 under par until the ninth hole in the first half, hit his tee shot in the bunker in front of the green at the 10th hole (par 4), which was created as a short 302 yards and could be one-on. Even in the 12th hole (par 4), he made another bogey and was shaken as his shot went to the rough.
However, the returning emperor’s show began at the last minute of the match. Woods caught a birdie by putting a tee shot at a distance of 1.5m on the 16th hole (par 3), and then faced a crisis when the third shot he hit around the green on the 17th hole (par 5) was extremely short. However, Woods clenched his fists as he made a 7m birdie putt into the hole.
Woods finished the game by adding a 2.5m birdie on the last 18th hole (par 4) and completing three consecutive birdies. A satisfied smile appeared on his face.
“It was better to play with two great friends (Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas),” he said. The fans were also able to play better because they supported us all. The play on the 10th hole was disappointing, but I was able to fight back and finished it wonderfully.”
Woods seemed surprised by the enthusiastic cheers of the fans who had been waiting for him for seven months. Thousands of galleries chasing Woods, McIlroy, and Thomas Cho were busy taking pictures and videos with their mobile phones whenever Woods shot, and when he caught a birdie, they shouted tremendously. It is said that there were also problems such as fans moving in large numbers to preempt his good seats to get a better look at Woods.
Woods said, “I think I heard more cheers than any other tournament I have participated in. All day I had to calm down and focus on what I had to do. I had to express my gratitude more than I thanked the fans, but it was complicated in my head to focus on sending the ball to the correct location.”
However, Woods, McIlroy, and Thomas did a great fan service to the galleries by catching a birdie side by side on the last 18th hole (par 4). In addition, McIlroy tied for 7th with a 4-under 67, and Thomas tied for 14th with a 3-under 68.
Woods, who finished the first round at 5:00 p.m. local time, will start the second round at 7:24 a.m. the next day. Woods said, “When I go back to the hotel, I repeat the icing and treatment. He will warm up, sweat, stay warm and prepare for tomorrow’s game,” he said.
Meanwhile, Homa and Mitchell온라인바카라, the winners of this tournament in 2021, tied for the lead with 7 under par 64 strokes, and John Lam (Spain), who is aiming for world No. Colin Morikawa, Matt Kucher, and Harris English (above USA) are tied for 4th with a 5 under par 66.
Among Korean players, Lim Seong-jae (25) recorded the best performance with 4 birdies, 2 bogeys and 2 under par 69 strokes. Im Seong-jae was tied for 27th with Woods.
While Kim Seong-hyeon (25) reduced one stroke to the 16th hole, the first round was postponed to the sunset, so Kim Seong-hyun was tied for 44th place. Kim Joo-hyung (21) recorded an even par 71 and a tie for 56, and Kim Young-soo (34), who won the Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour Genesis Championship last year and entered this tournament, recorded an even par with one hole remaining and tied for 56th. did.
Lee Kyung-hoon (32) tied for 77th with 1 over par 72, and Kim Si-woo (25) tied for 121st with 5 over par 76.
The Genesis Invitational is one of 17 special tournaments designated by the PGA Tour this year, with a total prize pool of $20 million. The top 19 players in the world rankings (excluding those belonging to LIV Golf) mobilized.