Tiger Woods Returns And Takes Lead At Match Play - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Tiger Woods Returns And Takes Lead At Match Play

Posted: Updated:

MARANA, Ariz. (AP) -- Tiger Woods said he was ready to go after eight months away from golf. Was he ever. Woods ended his 253-day break from competition Wednesday with a spectacular start at the Accenture Match Play Championship, going birdie-eagle to build a quick lead in his opening match against an overwhelmed Brendan Jones.

Woods poured it on late, eagling the par-5 13th hole to go 4-up with five holes to play. Jones had little chance on a day when Woods was as hot as the desert sun.

The world's No. 1 player said he looked forward to the rush of competition, something he had not experienced since he won the U.S. Open in a playoff June 16 on one good leg. He had season-ending surgery on his left knee a week later.

Fans packed into the bleachers around the first tee, with more lined up behind the ropes all the way to the green, and the cheer when Woods walked onto the tee could be heard all the way down the fairway.

Woods backed off his tee shot, and without much expression, belted a fairway metal down the right side of the fairway.

"You are back!" one spectator shouted.

From 167 yards, Woods hit an 8-iron toward the middle of the green that caught a ridge and stopped 5 feet from the hole, which he converted for birdie to go 1 up. The par-5 second was even better, as Woods posed over his second shot and offered a gentle fist pump when he stopped 4 feet from the hole. He never had to make his eagle putt when Jones settled for par.

So much for the rust - at least early.

Woods found the bunker on the par-3 third, the ball on a slight downslope leaving him no chance to get it close. He wound up with a bogey to halve the hole, and didn't look nearly as crisp the rest of the front nine.

Jones cut into the lead when Woods' came up short of the seventh green and made birdie, then Woods answered with a 6-foot birdie on the eighth. He was 2 up heading to the back nine.

The gallery hustled through the desert to watch every shot, missing some entertaining golf around the rest of Dove Mountain.

Three days after Phil Mickelson blew a lead and rallied to win at Riviera, he did it again.

Lefty was 4 up with five holes to play when former U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera won the next four holes - three of those with birdies - to force overtime. Mickelson won on the 19th hole.

Anthony Kim never lost a hole against Lin Wen-Tang, beating him 7 and 5. Camilo Villegas had the shortest day of work at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, hammering Rod Pampling of Australia, 7 and 6.

Trevor Immelman got off to the best start, holing out with a 9-iron for eagle on the opening hole. But the Masters champion wound up losing when Shingo Katayama fired off three birdies and an eagle on the back nine, winning 3 and 2.

That was the lesson for Woods at the Match Play - the finish is always more important than the start.

Even so, his birdie-eagle start to the round left spectators in awe, even if it took slightly longer than expected. As Woods was on the practice green, he watched Stewart Cink and Richard Sterne walked from the 18th green to the first tee when their match was tied and required extra holes.

Cink teed off at 7:45 a.m., there were a few dozen people in the bleachers.

"I was surprised there were that many people," Cink said. "They got their early and claimed their seats for Tiger. Because really, Tiger's match was the only one that mattered today."

When Cink returned to the first tee for the second time, there were more fans than when he played the championship match last year against Woods. They were waiting on Woods.

"I just told everybody on the first tee that he's waited eight months to play," Cink said. "He can wait two more minutes."

With what Woods showed on the first two holes, it was worth the wait.

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • SportsMore>>

  • Ultimate Pigskin Picks

    Ultimate Pigskin Picks

    CBS 8 invite you to play along with other San Diego football fans each week and pick the winners!  See how you do against News 8's Sports Director, Kyle Kraska and win weekly prizes!

     

    CBS 8 invite you to play along with other San Diego football fans each week and pick the winners!  See how you do against News 8's Sports Director, Kyle Kraska and win weekly prizes!

     
  • Hue Jackson back in Cincinnati, helping to run defense

    Hue Jackson back in Cincinnati, helping to run defense

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 9:48 AM EST2018-11-13 14:48:54 GMT
    Tuesday, November 13 2018 9:41 PM EST2018-11-14 02:41:04 GMT
    (AP Photo/David Richard, File). FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018 file photo, Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson watches before an NFL football game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens in Cleveland. A person familiar with the h...(AP Photo/David Richard, File). FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018 file photo, Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson watches before an NFL football game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens in Cleveland. A person familiar with the h...
    Hue Jackson has landed back in Cincinnati, where he'll help head coach Marvin Lewis try to resurrect the Bengals' historically bad defense. 
    Hue Jackson has landed back in Cincinnati, where he'll help head coach Marvin Lewis try to resurrect the Bengals' historically bad defense. 
  • Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell refuses to sign tag, out for 2018

    Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell refuses to sign tag, out for 2018

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 1:44 PM EST2018-11-13 18:44:50 GMT
    Tuesday, November 13 2018 9:40 PM EST2018-11-14 02:40:40 GMT
    Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell a no-show as deadline approaches. 
    Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell a no-show as deadline approaches. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.