Honda Classic grind 'like playing a British Open', says Woods

An even-par 70 was the result of a battling Honda Classic opening round for Tiger Woods, who compared conditions to the Open Championship.

Tiger Woods   -  (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods compared Thursday's conditions at the Honda Classic to those more commonly associated with the Open Championship.

The 14-time major winner fought his way around PGA National Golf Club to shoot an even-par opening round of 70.

After birdying two of his first four holes, Woods jumped into a share of the lead.

But an untimely double-bogey on the par-five third - Woods' 12th - undid some of that fine work and, in gusty conditions akin to those seen on the links courses of Great Britain, the 42-year-old birdied the next and made par on his last five to post a reasonable score.

"I played hard today. It was difficult out there," Woods said. "I had to try and put the ball in the correct spots and there's interesting putts out there for us.

"Definitely it was different, like playing a British Open. You get a shot on the green and see a big puff of sand. But it was tough. It was tough all the way around. I just had to grind it out all day and [I'm] very happy with it."

Woods was more accurate off the tee, hitting 50 per cent of the fairways. He expects that number to continue rising after struggles earlier this season at the Farmers Insurance Open and the Genesis Open.

"I feel like I'm really not that far away," he said. "I'm starting to really get a feel for scoring again and scoring in tournaments, and today was a day that I'm very proud of because I missed the ball in the correct spots. I didn't do that in L.A., hit the ball in the wrong spots and consequently, I was down the road after two days.

"I'm very pleased. Today was not easy. It's going to get more difficult because these greens are not the best. It was tough all around today. One, the wind was blowing pretty hard, the rough's up, and it's really tough to make putts out there."

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