Tiger Woods looks rusty in return to competition at 2023 Hero World Challenge

Tiger Woods was back on the course for the first time in competition since April on Thursday and the rust was evident.

The 15-time major champion was up and down over his opening 18 holes at the 2023 Hero World Challenge and signed for a 3-over 75 at Albany in the Bahamas. Woods, a five-time winner and five-time runner-up at the Hero, sits in 18th place out of the 20 players at the unofficial event that benefits his TGR Foundation.

Every step Woods took forward was followed by a backward stumble. Birdies on Nos. 3, 5 and 11 were immediately followed by bogeys on Nos. 4, 6 and 12. The wheels began to fall off the round after a birdie on No. 14 as Woods compounded mistakes with a double bogey on the 15th and more needless bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17. A tap-in par on the 18th stopped the bleeding and sealed the deal for his return round.

“I hit a lot of shots,” Woods said with a laugh after his round. “I was rusty, I didn’t have my feels, conditions were tough early. I kind of hung through there and didn’t finish off my round the way I needed to and consequently, it kind of went sideways at the end.”

TIGER TRACKER: Woods’ opening round with shot-by-shot analysis

On the day Woods hit 6 out of 10 fairways and found 10 of his 18 greens in regulation with 30 putts.

Tony Finau and Brian Harman are tied atop the leaderboard after each opened with 5-under 67s on Thursday.

GettyImages 1813803970
Optimized by Optimole