Reporter Kwon Hyeok-joon = ‘Golf Emperor’ Tiger Woods (USA), who made his first sortie of the new year, thrilled the galleries on the first day of the tournament.
Woods tied 5 birdies and 3 bogeys in the first round of the Genesis Invitational (total prize money of $20 million) held at the Riviera Country Club (par 71, 7287 yards) in Pacific Palisades near Los Angeles, California on the 17th (Korean time), USA. I wrote an under par 69.
Woods started in a tie for 27th with Lim Seong-jae (25, CJ Logistics), Zander Scheupele (USA), and Victor Hovlan (Norway).
This tournament is Woods’ first appearance in 2023. It has been 7 months since he participated in an official competition since the Open Championship in July of last year, and it has been 2 years and 4 months since the Jojo Championship in October 2020 that he has participated in a general competition rather than a major competition.
Woods, who made his debut at the tournament in 1992 at the age of 16, proved his worth on this day.
Woods, who got off to a good start with a birdie on the 1st hole (par 5), slowed down to bogey on the 4th hole (par 3). However, he caught a birdie on the 8th hole (par 4) and finished the first half with 1 under par.
Woods faltered in the second half. At the 10th hole (par 4), his first hole, he made a bogey after struggling, such as falling into a bunker twice, and then lost another stroke in the 12th hole (par 4). He seldom added a birdie and seemed to finish the round in the middle or lower ranks.
But the backstory was good. It started with a birdie on the 16th hole (par 3) by placing a tee shot at a distance of 1.5m from the hole cup. And in the 17th hole (par 5), he succeeded in making a 7m birdie putt, leading to cheers from the galleries.
In the last 18th hole (par 4), the gallery was once again excited with a fantastic iron shot that put the second shot near the hole cup 2m.
In the end, Woods finished with three consecutive birdies and raised the rankings. It is five strokes behind Max Homa and Keith Mitchell (USA, 7 under par 64 strokes), who were tied for the lead on the first day.
The performance on this day is meaningful in that Woods’ behavior is still uncomfortable and that he did not achieve a good result last year.
Homa and Mitchell tied 8 birdies and 1 bogey side by side on the day to hit 7 under par and put their names on the top of the leaderboard.
Homa is aiming for his 7th victory on the PGA Tour, and Mitchell is aiming for his 2nd career victory.
World No. 3 Jon Rahm (Spain) followed with a 6 under par 65 strokes for 3rd place alone, and world No. 2 Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) tied for 7th place with a 4 under par 67 strokes.
Scotty Scheffler (USA), who regained the top ranking by winning the Phoenix Open last week, was somewhat sluggish with a 1-under-par 70 for 44th place. 스포츠토토
Among Korean players, Lim Seong-jae tied for 27th with a 2-under-par 69, and Kim Seong-hyun (25, Shinhan Financial Group) tied for 44th with a 1-under par while playing the game to the 16th hole at sunset.
Kim Joo-hyung (21, Nike Golf) tied for 56th with an even par 71.
Kim Young-soo (34, PNS Holdings), who competed last year as the grand prize prize winner of the Korean Tour, also played up to the 17th hole and tied for 56th with an even par with Kim Joo-hyung, while Lee Gyeong-hoon (32, CJ Logistics) scored 1 over par 72. Tied for 77th, Kim Si-woo (28, CJ Logistics) stayed at the bottom with a 5-over-par 76 and a tie for 121st.
Deok Kim, a Korean-American, played an active part with a 4 under par and tied for 7th place with McIlroy and others.