Tiger Woods completes 18 holes at Isleworth in pro-am

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Tiger Woods enjoyed a welcome 18-hole workout on Wednesday as he took part in the pro-am event ahead of this week’s Hero World Challenge.

Woods, who is back in action after a four-month lay-off with a back injury, made three birdies and just one bogey in his round at Isleworth.

“I’m starting to get my power back, starting to get my speed back. That has been nice,” he said.

The 14-time major champion revealed he had not walked an entire layout since August, when he missed the cut at the PGA Championship.

“It felt good to be out there,” he added. “I felt like I really needed today. It was a nice little indicator.”

Woods, who turns 39 later this month, will tee off alongside Australian Jason Day, who is also returning from a back injury, at the 18-player event which starts on Thursday.

The former world No 1 looked in good shape during the pro-am, swinging well without the obvious back pain that had hindered his efforts in much of his 2014 campaign.

Adjustments

“I built up my body, made a few adjustments on my swing and hit some good shots,” Woods said.

“It felt good to be out there. I felt like I really needed today. It was a nice little indicator.”

Tiger Woods

He was joined by new swing consultant Chris Como, hired last month after a split with swing coach Sean Foley in August, and PGA veteran Steve Stricker said he likes what he has seen so far from Woods.

“He’s one of the best ever and coming back with a lot of anticipation,” Stricker said. “It looks like he’s swinging at it pretty good. It looks similar to the early 2000s to me.

“It looked a lot freer, didn’t look like he was getting in his way. It looked like it was on a better path. I’m sure he’s going to have some issues going forward. It will be fun to watch it play out and see how he handles it going forward.

“As far as players writing him off, I don’t think so. We all know what amazing things he has done over the course of 20 years. We know it’s in there.

“If he starts swinging it better and starts feeling good about what he’s doing again, it won’t take long for him to be at the top of the game again.”

Defending Challenge champion Zach Johnson has seen only a handful of shots from Woods but is happy to have him back in the field.

“It looked great to me,” Johnson said. “I’m glad he’s playing.”