Woods' driving woes persist at Genesis Open

Twenty-six years after his PGA Tour debut at the same event, Tiger Woods struggled off the tee in the first round of the Genesis Open.

Tiger Woods at the Riviera Country Club   -  Getty Images

Tiger Woods' troubles off the tee reared their ugly head again on Thursday as he endured a mixed bag on his outward nine at the Genesis Open.

The 14-time major champion made his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old amateur at this event back in 1992, and he returns for the 2018 edition as the tournament host for his second start of the season.

In his first, at Torrey Pines late last month, Woods was wild off the tee - describing his efforts as "gross" as he hit the lowest percentage of fairways in his career - and there were more driving woes at Riviera Country Club as the 42-year-old was one over through nine.

Playing with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas in a star-studded trio, Woods started promisingly by laying up at the 10th en route to a birdie.

That was matched by both of his partners - McIlroy chipping in from a bunker - but at the next Woods' wild drive saw the trees claim his ball and he eventually signed for a double-bogey seven.

Another wayward effort off the tee at 12 led to a further dropped shot, which was immediately retrieved thanks to a 15-foot putt at 13.

He bogeyed the 15th after yet another errant tee shot but he finally crushed a perfect drive at 17, which set up a birdie that got him back to one over.

McIlroy was also decidedly off-colour, recording bogeys at 11, 12 and 17 after that opening birdie to turn at two over but Thomas was more consistent, last year's US PGA champion one under at the halfway stage.

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