Brian Harman and Tony Finau made a strong start at the Hero World Challenge here on Thursday, sharing the lead with five-under 67 cards.
Harman, the Open champion, could have ended the day with the sole lead, if not for a bogey on the 18th hole.
Tiger Woods, playing for the first time in almost eight months, carded a three-over 75. Woods managed to get through the day, even as he admitted to feeling soreness.
Woods, returning from a subtalar fusion procedure in his ankle, struggled in the closing stages. There were glimpses of his former self in the early holes, when he made a couple of long putts and big drives. By taking his shots quickly, he showed clarity of mind.
“I’m sore, there’s no doubt about that. I’m sore everywhere - my leg, my back, my neck. Tomorrow we get back in the gym to activate and get ready for it. I’ll hopefully hit some better shots. And now I know mentally what I need to do better,” Woods said.
Overall, Woods was pleased with how the day went.
“I wanted to compete, I wanted to play. I hit it solid most of the day. I just didn’t mentally do the things I normally would do,” Woods said.
Harman got out of position on a few occasions, but scrambled well.
“It’s a really tough golf course. The wind was blowing. I got out of position a few times, and made some really nice up-and-downs,” Harman said.
Finau made his way to the top with four birdies between the 11th and 15th holes.
“I made a lot of six, seven footers whether it was after a chip or a bad first putt. That kept the momentum throughout the round.”
Jordan Spieth (four-under 68) rode a roller-coaster with two eagles, six birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey.
Cameron Young, Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa and Max Homa (all three-under 69) are tied fourth. Two-time defending champion Viktor Hovland disappointed with a one-over 73.
THE SCORES (TOP FOUR)
(The writer is in Nassau on invitation from Hero MotoCorp)
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