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Tough return for Tiger Woods at Muirfield Village

3 Min Read


    Written by Ben Everill @BEverillGolfbet

    Tiger Woods’ interview after Round 4 of the Memorial

    DUBLIN, Ohio – It certainly wasn’t a soft return to the PGA TOUR for Tiger Woods.

    Playing for the first time in five months thanks to back soreness and the COVID-19 pandemic, the 82-time PGA TOUR winner certainly wasn’t eased back into competition at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.

    Thursday’s opening round provided tough winds and the weekend provided a hard and fast major championship style setup with the aforementioned winds to test Woods to the limit on his return. Friday also saw Woods deal with a flare-up of his troublesome surgically fused back.

    The five-time Memorial Tournament champion shot 71-76-71-76 to finish 6 over for the week, well back of another victory. But there were enough signs to suggest, with some more competitive practice, he will continue to threaten to jump out of the tie with Sam Snead at the top of the all-time win list.

    “It was nice to get my feet wet and compete and play again,” the 44-year-old Woods said. “These were some of the more difficult conditions I've played in a long time. Today the golf course got quick and got fast. It was hard to get the ball close. But it was good to get the feel and the flow of competing again.”

    Woods will take next week off and has yet to reveal whether he will play the World Golf Championships–FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis the week after, prior to taking his place at the PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco.

    “I definitely need more reps,” Woods said, but he hinted he might get those reps practicing back home in Florida.

    “I need to work on my putting a bit and clean that up. I didn't feel comfortable playing break,” he added. “I've been in Florida playing Bermuda and seeing minimal break, come out here and playing 10, 12 feet of break was a bit different and something I'm going to have to get used to.

    “But as far as my swing, it felt good. I was able to hit good shots. Friday was a bit off physically, but overall for my first week back, it was a lot, a lot of positives.”

    Caddie Joe LaCava pointed at Friday’s finish from Woods as one of those positives. Facing his first missed cut in the tournament in his 18th appearance, Woods finished birdie-birdie-par to end up making the weekend on the number. The competitive fire remains.

    “Making the cut isn't the goal, but the way he made the cut was nice, making two birdies and a nice par on nine, knowing we needed to play on the weekend,” LaCava said. “Physically he feels good. He will probably go home and work on what he needs to work on, which is probably everything.

    “Today was better than the week. He hit good quality shots, rolled it pretty well I thought. Didn't get a whole lot out of the round. I don't always look at the final score; I was looking at how he was feeling, and I thought he was moving pretty good and hit it pretty well.”

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