Golf: Eventful final hole leaves Tiger Woods over par for Genesis Invitational opening round

Tiger Woods has ended an uneven day with an eventful bogey to shoot a one-over-par 72 at the first round of the Genesis Invitational at Pacific Palisades, California.

Woods, the tournament host at Riviera Country Club, played his first round of an official PGA Tour event since the Masters 10 months ago, after recovering from ankle surgery.

"Definitely nervous," said Woods. "I care about how I play and certainly I was feeling the nerves starting out."

Tiger Woods plays a recovery shot between trees on the 18th.
Tiger Woods plays a recovery shot between trees on the 18th. Photo credit: Getty Images

He carded five birdies and five bogeys through 17 holes, never lower than one under par nor higher than one over, but he hit a surprise shank from the 18th fairway that sprayed far right.

"My back was spasming the last couple holes and it was locking up," he said. "I came down and it didn't move, and I presented hosel first and shanked it."

Woods' recovery shot - a stinger past a large tree - gave him 15 feet for par, but the ensuing putt slipped left of the hole. It was a common theme through his first round, with Woods totaling 30 putts on the day.

"I struggled with the speed of the greens," he said. "I couldn't believe how fast they were today even though I made a couple.

"I ran a bunch by the hole today. It was very stressful."

Woods hit eight of 14 fairways, topping out at 332 yards off the tee, but hit only 10 of 18 greens in regulation and was 2-for-8 scrambling. He admitted to rust, with the adrenaline of competition contributing to hitting the ball further than in practice and being off on his yardages.

Although Woods says his ankle felt fine, he acknowledges feeling soreness in his surgically repaired leg, along with overall soreness and the back spasms.

"That's to be expected," he said. "That's nothing that we weren't prepared for, and we've got some work to do tonight and tomorrow."

At the third signature event of the 2024 season, the top 50 players and ties will make the 36-hole cut, plus anyone within 10 shots of the lead. By the end of day one, Woods was tied for 49th, eight strokes behind leader Patrick Cantlay (seven-under 64).

"It was one of those days," Woods said. "Just never really got anything consistently going and hopefully tomorrow I can clean it up."