LA JOLLA, California (Reuters) - Tiger Woods’ return to the PGA Tour drew a positive review from fellow competitor Patrick Reed, who had just about the best view in the house as he played with the 14-times major champion in the opening round at the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday.
Woods shot an even-par 72 on the South Course at Torrey Pines.
“For a guy who’s played one tournament in over a year, for him to play the way he did today I was pretty impressed,” Reed told reporters.
“He seemed to have command, whether he went at it (the ball) hard or went at it soft, whether he wanted to launch it up in the air or take it down low.
“He (could) hit a high draw driver, or a lot cut that goes miles. Some of the cuts he hit off the tee were insanely long. He’s got his speed back, which is awesome to see.”
Woods, 42, is making his first appearance in an official event since spinal fusion surgery last April.
His best shot came at the 188-yard, par-three 16th, a six-iron that climbed sharply into the wind and landed softly, almost going in for a hole-in-one, before settling eight inches away.
“He hit the same club (as me) and it came out like a completely different window,” Reed said. “Mine came out a normal window, his was about 30 feet higher than that. It was monstrous up in the air. Into the wind you wouldn’t think a ball would carry the ball that far.
“I imagine he’s probably jumping with joy just being out here playing golf, especially being pain free. That is huge. I hope he plays well tomorrow so we can see him on the weekend.”
Reed, a five-times PGA Tour winner, shot a 68 to trail leader Tony Finau by three strokes.
Editing by Peter Rutherford