Tiger Woods makes another strong start at Bay Hill

16 March, 2018, 01:55 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • Lining it up Tiger Woods is favourite for the Arnold Palmer Invitational after an impressive display at the Valspar Championship

Tiger Woods justified his position as pre-tournament favourite with an impressive start to the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Thursday.

On days like this, when Woods birdied every par-5 and drained an uphill, downhill, curling 71-foot putt for birdie on his third-to-last hole, it's tempting to pronounce that he is almost back to being the same as he ever was.

The American is targeting a ninth victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, while Marc Leishman will be hoping to defend his crown.

"You guys are asking different questions from when I first came back and it wasn't that long ago, it was two months ago and the narrative has completely flipped", Woods said.

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"From the time I was there as an amateur to my first win and to my other wins there as well, I just love playing Augusta National".

Coming off a tie for second at last week's Valspar Championship, Woods fired a four-under-par 68 during the opening round at Florida's famed Bay Hill course.

Picking up where he left he left off on Sunday with a second place finish at the Valspar Championship, Woods's play in Thursday opening round continued to indicate his comeback is trending upwards.

But Woods responded with birdies on three of the next four holes, sinking a four-footer at the par-5 fourth and a three-footer at the par-5 sixth to set the stage for his greatest putt of them all.

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Woods' drive was well off the mark, and by the time he recovered, he recorded a double-bogey six that knocked him down the leaderboard. Woods ended with a par at 17 and 18 to go bogey-free through nine. Just keep getting better.

Speaking at the Tour Champions playoff finale in Phoenix, when Woods was in the first phase of his full-range practices, Goydos said: "We've forgotten how good Tiger was, and that kind of bothers him a little bit".

"A lot of people are excited about how Tiger's starting to show signs in the right direction, and I think it's going to be a lot of fun over the next two days".

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