Tiger Woods strong again at Hero World Championship

NATION-NOW     Tiger Woods off to an awful start Saturday     
       Tiger Woods off to an awful start Saturday

Woods holed from five feet on the first, two-putted the par-five third and converted from four feet on the fourth, but saved the best till last on the front nine on the par-five ninth.

"They seemed to be a foot faster", Woods told The Golf Channel, adding that he was satisfied with his fitness following back surgery in April. He struggled with his chip shots, often faltering on the par 5s, that saw him placed at 1-under after the first nine holes.

The solid second-round effort, which included an eagle and four birdies, left the former world number one tied for fifth place at seven-under 137 in his first tournament in almost 10 months following spinal fusion surgery.

It just didn't stay there for long.

Woods grabbed his second birdie with a stunning 20-foot putt evoking loud applause, that even forced Fowler - playing nearly a hundred yards away - to take notice.

"I hadn't played in a while but it was fun to play with a scorecard in hand again".

"I thought it was great", said Woods, who matched the round of his playing partner in PGA Tour's Player of the Year Justin Thomas. "That's going to take time, a lot more practice, a lot more training and more tournaments".

His first birdie came on the first when a 96-yard approach shot landed five feet from the hole for a simple birdie putt.

Putting was a problem for Woods as he was surprised by the quickness of the surface.

Spieth had seven birdies and two bogeys during Friday's round. "That's one of the reasons I went out and played nine straight days before, back home and down here, as well". While he had his chances, he didn't make another birdie and finished with a bogey after a poor drive.

"It's awesome to see him playing some solid golf", said Patrick Reed, who moved into a tie for 10th with a 66.

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