Tuesday December 1st, 2015 10:28PM

A rusty start for Tiger Woods

By Luke Story
BETHESDA - This much could be said about Tiger Woods and his return to competition - at least he has his health.<br /> <br /> And that might be as important as his score.<br /> <br /> Woods competed for the first time in more than three months Thursday in the Quicken Loans National at Congressional, and it showed. He opened with back-to-back bogeys. He made five bogeys in a seven-hole stretch around the turn. And then he rallied with three birdies over the last six holes for a 3-over 74.<br /> <br /> That left him eight shots behind Greg Chalmers, who made only one bogey in his round of 66 to build a one-shot lead after the opening round. Next up for Woods is trying to stick around for the weekend. He has not missed a cut in two years.<br /> <br /> "I think the hard part was just getting into the rhythm of playing competitively," Woods said. "You play with your buddies all day for cash and stuff, but it's just not the same. It's not the same as tournament golf - different level. Adrenaline is rushing, and I hit the ball further out here than I do at home. Try to get the numbers, try to get the feels. Didn't start happening until midway through my front nine."<br /> <br /> As for his back? He had surgery March 31 to alleviate a pinched nerve. He moved around without any sign of pain.<br /> <br /> "I had no issues at all," Woods said. "No twinges, no nothing. It felt fantastic."<br /> <br /> Even so, he headed back to his hotel for ice and treatment instead of heading to the range - or to the chipping area.<br /> <br /> Here are five things to look for Friday at Congressional:<br /> <br /> CHIPPING AND PUTTING: Woods hit the ball fine off the tee, particularly his driver on two of the longer holes - the par-4 11th (489 yards) and the par-5 16th (579 yards). He was on the fringe about 50 feet away on No. 11 and left his first putt 18 feet short, leading to bogey. He was just short of the green on the 16th, hit a good chip-and-run to 6 feet and missed that for birdie.<br /> <br /> Woods missed two par putts from about 6 feet. He didn't make a putt over 10 feet.<br /> <br /> "That's all I've been doing is chipping and putting," Woods said. "I hit some bad shots. Those are bad pitches, and those are the ones I should get up-and-down every time."<br /> <br /> CONGRESSIONAL: Woods said while his back feels fine and he has been able to hit all the shots at home, he might not have played this week if the Quicken Loans National (a new title sponsor this year) did not benefit his foundation's work with children.<br /> <br /> Too bad his foundation is not affiliated with Hartford or the John Deere.<br /> <br /> Woods missed two majors this year, and probably felt as though he made up for it at Congressional. Jason Day said it played harder than it did for the 2011 U.S. Open, where Day was a runner-up. Only 26 players from the 120-man field broke par.<br /> <br /> "I didn't think it was easy at all," Chalmers said. "I played really well, and I think anybody who plays really well can shoot a low score. You just have to be coming out of the fairway, and I didn't that the majority of the time today."<br /> <br /> THE CUT: At least Woods will know where he stands after he finishes his round Friday afternoon.<br /> <br /> He was tied for 83rd going into the second round, and he will have a good idea when he tees off what he will need to make the cut. Woods has made the cut in 26 straight events - dating to The Greenbrier Classic two years ago - for the fourth-longest active streak on the PGA Tour.<br /> <br /> He has never missed the cut in an event that supports his foundation. In fact, he has won at Congressional the last two times he played, in 2009 and 2012.<br /> <br /> THE OTHERS: Woods is in the marquee group of the week, with Day and Jordan Spieth. Day won the Match Play Championship in February, while Spieth has done everything but win this year. He shared the 54-hole lead in the Masters and The Players Championship.<br /> <br /> They didn't give a large gallery much to cheer.<br /> <br /> All three made bogey on their opening two holes. Only once - on No. 11 - were all three in the fairway on the same hole.<br /> <br /> Day rallied for a 73. Spieth joined Woods at 74.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 11 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 11 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 11 months ago )
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 11 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 11 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 11 months ago )
Professional Sports
Girls basketball: GHS romps over Heritage, 65-44
The Gainesville girls basketball team stormed to a 65-44 win over Heritage in the Lady Red Elephants’ Region 8-AAAAA opener on Tuesday.
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:23PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Girls basketball: West Hall clamps down on Greene County
The West Hall girls basketball team shut down Greene County’s offense en route to a 51-23 win on Tuesday.
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:18PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Girls basketball: Buford overpowers Jefferson, 66-34
The Buford girls basketball team cruised past Jefferson 66-34 on Tuesday.
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:10PM ( 18 minutes ago )
GHSA sets new regions for 2016-18 seasons
The Georgia High School Association released the new region alignments Tuesday for the upcoming 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
9:57PM ( 31 minutes ago )
(VIDEO) Commerce football heading on road with confidence
Commerce football may be nicknamed the Tigers, but, for this season at least, they might as well re-name themselves the Road Warriors.
6:14PM ( 4 hours ago )