Hoffman builds 5-shot lead as Woods fades in Bahamas

Rachel Hardy
December 3, 2017

Nassau (Bahamas), Dec 1 (IANS) Fourteen-time major victor Tiger Woods shot a three-under-par 69 as he returned at the Hero World Challenge following nine months out injured.

His score was 8-under-par going into the final five holes.

The wind was the strongest it has been all week at Albany Golf Club, and it took the air out of hopes that Woods' return to competition would find him in the mix at his holiday tournament.

Charley Hoffman's nine-under 63, which included 12 birdies, put him in command at 12-under 132, three strokes ahead of Jordan Spieth (67) and England's Tommy Fleetwood (69).

That was cancelled out by a bogey on nine, but further birdies on 10, 13 and 14 thrust him into contention before a wild tee shot on 15 led to a second bogey of the day.

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Although the bogey at the end will disappoint the 41-year-old it was great to see the Tiger fist-pump on show again today and we can only hope he continues his fine form over the next two days to keep challenging for a tour win which would be an incredible achievement in his first tournament back from a 10-month injury layoff.

He was unable to convert a decent birdie opportunity set up by a brilliant approach from the waste area at the 16th, before producing a good chip to save par at the 17th and then confidently knocking in a testing four-footer to do likewise at the last. I blew majority past the hole. I had to dial it back a bit.

"The only thing I struggled with was the speed of the greens".

The performance impressed leading coach Denis Pugh.

Fleetwood's countryman Justin Rose (68) was alone in fourth on eight-under, with Woods a stroke back alongside Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler, who both shot 70s, Japan's Hideki Matsuyama (66) and Italy's Francesco Molinari (68).

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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