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Tiger Woods on awful round of 77 at Hero World Challenge: ‘It was weird’

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Tiger Woods may indeed be pain-free for the first time in a long time, as he insists, but there is another thing that he is not free from that comes with the territory after spending so much time away from competitive golf: Rust. To put it bluntly, Woods was really, really rusty.

“Today, it was weird,” Woods said after his nightmarish opening round of 5-over-77 at his own tournament, the Hero World Challenge, in Windemere, Fla. “I didn’t feel like I hit it that bad.”

Woods’ lack of feel and touch could be seen everywhere on the course — although his ball-striking was decent, given his rustiness, hitting 8-of-14 fairways and making 11-of-18 greens in regulation — but it was painfully evident in his short game.

“My short game was awful, and I didn’t make anything,” Woods conceded.

Woods flubbed or chunked a staggering four chip shots during his round, but as noted in a Golf Channel report, he made sure to mention that he put plenty of work in on his short game at his backyard practice area behind his home in Jupiter, Fla. Instead, it’s speculated Woods could not adjust to tougher rough around the greens at Isleworth.

Woods had a particularly troublesome time on the par-5 No. 13, where he ultimately scored a bogey.

“It certainly is surprising that I could hit chips that poorly,” Woods lamented, who managed only one birdie on the entire round, per the Golf Channel. “Just flubbed them.”

Woods’ swing, however, certainly appears sound and has been the hot topic of the week leading into the tournament.

But the operative word was “awful” for Tiger on this day.

“I was just awful,” Woods added. “I just made too many mistakes and mainly they were around the green.”

Overall, Woods tried to put a positive spin on the round as a whole, lamenting some terrible play around and on the greens. After all, it was his first round of competitive golf since the PGA Championship at Valhalla all the way back in August.

“I didn’t hit it that poorly,” he said. “Just got nothing out of it, obviously. Bad chips. Bad putts.”

That will do it. And probably the primary reason he finds himself in last place at his own tournament.

(photo credit: AP/Willie J. Allen Jr.)