• Quicken Loans National

Tiger toils in return to PGA Tour action

Farrell Evans | ESPN.com
June 26, 2014
Tiger Woods was in last place as the afternoon starters went out © Getty Images

Playing in his first tournament since back surgery in late March, Tiger Woods shot a three-over 74 in the first round of the Quicken Loans National at the Congressional Country Club.

The 14-time major champion had bogeys on seven of his first 12 holes, before closing with birdies on three of his last six.

Rose struggles on three-over

  • Brian Davies was the best-place Briton after the opening round by finishing on one-over.
  • Justin Rose is two shots behind him on three-over.
  • Last year's US Open champion only carded one birdie in his round of 74 after he made four bogeys on his first nine holes.

Woods' Thursday was characterised by several sloppy mistakes around the greens. Yet he drove the ball accurately: hitting nine out of 14 fairways. He also hit 10 of 18 greens.

"The score is not really indicative of how I played," he said. "I had four up-and-downs right there on 15 through 18. I had an easy pick on two, don't get that up-and-down and a wedge in my hand on three and I jerk it in the bunker."

Woods, who last played in a PGA Tour event in early March, said Thursday afternoon that the most difficult aspect of the round was getting into the rhythm of playing competitively.

"You play with your buddies all day for cash and stuff but it's just not the same," he said. "It's not the same as tournament golf, different level. Adrenaline is rushing and I hit the ball further out here than I do at home.

"I was trying to get the numbers and the feel. That didn't start happening until mid-way through my front nine."

Overall, Woods, who said his back felt great, was pleased to be back in competition.

"I unfortunately have been in my career on the sidelines enough," he said. "So it's always fun to come back out here and play against these guys, the best players in the world, and to get out here and see what I can do."

On Friday, Woods will start his second round at 6.12pm UK time, again with Jason Day and Jordan Spieth.

"It was a great group," Woods said of his pairing with Day, who had a two-over 73 and Speith, who also shot 74. "Unfortunately, we didn't see a lot of each other on the front nine. We were all kind of looking to break 80. It was a bit of a fight for all of us but we hung in there."

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