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Tiger Woods birdies final three holes for electric return to PGA Tour action at 2023 Genesis Invitational

There were just as many positive and negative takeaways from Tiger Woods’ return to non-major PGA Tour action on Thursday.

Until he reached the final three holes.

The 82-time winner ho-hummed his way around Riviera Country Club near Los Angeles to the tune of a 2-under 69 in the opening round of the 2023 Genesis Invitational and walked off the course T-27.

His accuracy off the tee left something to be desired, hitting just six of 14 fairways. That said, when he caught his driver cleanly, the ball went far. Very far. Five drives were 320 yards or longer, with his longest of the day reaching 338 yards.

He left a few chips short, but his splash shots out of the bunker were textbook. He struggled to make any putts from distance, with his first make from outside 10 feet coming on the par-5 17th, where he canned a 24-footer to get back under par for his round after a birdie on the par-3 16th. Woods then closed his round out the only way he knew how, in style with a third consecutive birdie.

Still recovering from a single-car accident that nearly cost him his leg, Woods walked with ease for most of the round but began to labor a bit down the stretch. The true test of his fitness and form will come Friday morning, where Woods will be back on the course alongside Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas at 10:24 a.m. ET.

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