Highlights: Woods birdies final three holes for 2-under 69 in return at Riviera

Tiger Woods made his first official start since the Open Championship on Thursday at the Genesis Invitational. Woods was greeted by a crowd of fans eager to see how he — and rivals Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas — would fare on their first day at the Riviera Country Club.

It was certainly a good start. Missing the fairway (higher) by a par-5 first, Woods lay down and made a birdie-4.

The 82-time Tour winner looked good early in the game, recording a ball speed of 180 mph on a tee shot on the third par-4.

Ghost on par 4 dropped him to par, but he made sure not to give another one on par 5 with that perfect up and down from the bunker on the green.

Ultimately, the front nine was mostly about matching Woods. He made another good save down in sixth and then missed a 13-foot birdie in seventh.

But he redeemed that slip by increasing his inside shot from 113 yards on the eighth par-4 to 3 feet. The bird brought him back to the red numbers.

A 323-yard drive in ninth allowed him to make a back-to-back turn, but Woods putt two at par and 1-to-34 over his first half.

He then struggled to start the back nine, making a bogey at Nos. 10 and 12. Woods was 1 over par in the tournament as he reached 166 yards, par-3 on the 16th and extended his tee shot to 5 feet. The next bird brought him back to balance.

And that 23-foot par-5 17 brought him another birdie and the biggest crowd reaction of the day.

So it was until the next hole, the last of the day. Woods made a third consecutive bird throw, this time from just over 7 feet away, throwing 2 balls under 69.


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