Woods justifies favourite tag with impressive start to Arnold Palmer Invitational

Woods justifies favourite tag with impressive start to Arnold Palmer Invitational

Woods justifies favourite tag with impressive start to Arnold Palmer Invitational

Tiger Woods takes his rousing comeback tour to one of his favourite haunts - Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill layout, where the 14-time Major victor has triumphed eight times.

Woods had an aggravating double bogey on the back nine and then settled down, dropping in a vintage 71-foot birdie putt that momentarily had him in sole possession of the lead.

Woods looks to be going from strength to strength with this touch of finesse on the 7th hole at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

"I enjoy just playing again after what I've been through", Woods, 42, said.

Woods came close to a first win since 2013 when he was runner-up to Paul Casey at the Valspar Championship last weekend.

"From the time I first won there, to the other times I won the Green Jacket".


Walker holed out from 132 yards for eagle on the 18th fairway to complete an opening 67, one stroke ahead of fellow Americans Woods and Patrick Reed.

The resulting double bogey left McIlroy alongside Tommy Fleetwood, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose on three under, Rose having recovered from being four over par after six holes with seven birdies in the next 10.

Woods is seeking a record ninth victory at Bay Hill in just his fifth PGA Tour event since undergoing spinal fusion surgery in April 2017, his fourth back operation in the space of three years.

Having tried on several occasions to reignite his fledgling career only for further injury setbacks to bring any attempted comebacks to a shuddering and painful halt, many were beginning to think that we had seen the last of one of the finest golfers of a generation.

The 14-time major champion maintained that momentum in his first round at Bay Hill on Thursday, carding a four-under 68 to put himself in contention again. The electricity that courses through the crowds when Woods is playing well, he added, "just seems to kind of elevate, and for some reason it just kind of gets me going". "I've still got to go through the process of getting myself in position".

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