Nervous Woods makes solid start

26 January 2018 04:28:46 EST

Tiger Woods marked his return from a 12-month absence from the PGA Tour with a level-par 72 on the South Course at Torrey Pines in the Farmers Insurance Open.

As an eight-time winner of the event he was rarely vulnerable at this venue and yet he admitted, understandably, to being a little shaky on this occasion.

I didn't hit anything close, didn't give myself a lot of looks and consequently didn't have a lot of chances for birdies.

Tiger Woods

"Of course I was nervous," he said. "I care about what I do and it was fun to feel that competitive rush again and try to post a number."

The highlight of his day came at the par-3 16th, when his 6-iron tee shot very nearly ended up in the hole, before leaving him a tap-in birdie - one of three he made to atone for the same number of bogeys.

"I was probably a little rusty," Woods conceded. "I didn't hit anything close, didn't give myself a lot of looks and consequently didn't have a lot of chances for birdies.

"I didn't play the par 5s as well either, I believe I played them only at even par. So tomorrow, hopefully, I can drive it a little bit better, hit my irons a lot closer and we're going to the better course for greens. Hopefully I can make a few putts."

Seven shots behind Tony Finau's lead and currently T-84th, Woods will almost certainly need to go sub-70 on the easier North Course to make the weekend.

Spain's Jon Rahm will also attack the North Course on Friday, but has a different target in mind.

Should he successfully defend his title this week he will overhaul Dustin Johnson at the top of the world rankings. He is three behind Finau on 4-under after the first round.

Woods is 10/11 to shoot 70 & under in round two and 4/5 to score 71  & over.

In the outright market defending champion Rahm is 2000/1, with Finau 500/1 and Woods 2000/1.

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