April 18, 2017 / 9:28 PM / 3 months ago

Woods hits first public shots in months, no date for return

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FILE PHOTO - Jan 26, 2017; La Jolla, CA, USA; Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the 1st green during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

(Reuters) - Tiger Woods took his first public golf shots in over two months during an event to announce his first public course on Tuesday but the former world number one remained noncommittal about his return to competitive action.

Woods, who has not played a tournament since pulling out of a European Tour event in February because of back spasms, took two swings into a par-three hole in front of a crowd that were on hand for his course design announcement in Missouri.

His first shot off a makeshift tee bounced off some rocks that will front the green on the still-to-be built course while his second landed about 10 feet from the hole.

"The back is progressing," said Woods. "I have good days and bad days. I've had three back operations and that's just kind of the nature of the business unfortunately. That's all I can say."

Woods returned to the PGA Tour in January after a 17-month absence following back surgery. He missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open and shot an opening-round 77 a week later in Dubai before withdrawing.

His course, which is scheduled to open in 2019, will honour late Missouri native and three-times major champion Payne Stewart and be called Payne's Valley.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto. Editing by Steve Keating

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