Tiger Woods was back in action Monday in Ireland. It wasn't his best performance, but it was, after all, merely a pro-am – just with a much more loaded field than usual.
As one of the many stars competing in the two-day JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor, Woods logged his first semi-competitive (well, it is a pro-am) 18 holes since withdrawing after a third-round 79 at the PGA Championship on May 21. He shot 5-over 77 and beat just five players (and a disqualified Jordan Spieth, who reportedly accidentally picked up his ball late in his round and didn’t complete the hole).
Woods finished a shot back of Ian Woosnam, who is 64 years old.
“The team’s doing great … just don’t look at our scorecard,” Woods said, candidly, during a mid-round interview. “But we’re having fun.”
Woods birdied the par-4 10th hole and chipped in for eagle at the par-5 12th, but those were the only notable highlights. Woods double-bogeyed his second hole of the day and added six more bogeys on the round. He went after a 3-wood on the par-5 finishing hole and from 273 yards left it just shy of the green. However, he failed to get up and down for birdie and capped his day with an easy par.
While he split his time between walking and using a cart, there were some positive signs. Woods hit a number of good drives, though he wasn’t nearly as sharp with his irons and putter (not that he spent much time reading putts either). Woods looked upbeat and more spry than the last time we saw him at Southern Hills. He even opted for driver off the deck on the ninth hole.
But he was still noticeably hobbled and had difficulty clearing his lower body on many full shots, which produced his fair share of left misses.
Woods is slated to return to actual competition at next week’s Open Championship at St. Andrews.
The JP McManus Pro-Am includes several of the world's top players competing in a stroke-play format. Each is grouped with three amateur partners competing in a scramble. Xander Schauffele, who recently won the Travelers Championship, shot 8-under 64 to lead among the pros. Rickie Fowler is in second place, three shots back.