La Jolla - Tiger Woods capped an encouraging return to PGA
Tour action with an even-par 72 on Sunday at the Farmers Insurance Open.
The former world number one was tied for 27th when he walked
off his final green, the par-five ninth, on a Torrey Pines South Course where
Woods's eight victories include his 14th and most recent major title at the
2008 US Open.
"Today I played a lot better," said Woods, who had
four birdies and four bogeys in a round that gave him a three-under par total
"It was tough conditions out there," he added of
the gusting winds. "It was tough scoring."
Woods was playing his first US tour event since missing the
cut at Torrey Pines last year.
He had missed all of 2016 with back trouble, and his
comeback bid last year was cut short by recurring pain and spinal fusion
surgery in April.
Woods hit just 17 of 56 greens all week, but he displayed a
deft touch around the greens and solid putting to bring it in under par.
Most importantly, there was no sign of any back trouble as
he looks ahead to his next scheduled start at Riviera in Los Angeles February
"Very pleased," said Woods, who hadn't made the
cut in a PGA Tour event since his tie for 10th at the Wyndham Championship in
August of 2015.
"After not playing for a couple of years to come out
here on the Tour and really play a solid four days - I fought hard for these
Woods said before the tournament that his expectations were
But after rounds of 72-71-70 he said he went out on Sunday - clad
in his traditional final-round red and black - with an ambitious number in
"I wanted to shoot something around 65 - thought that
would be a playoff number," Woods said.
For the first time all week, Woods put his opening tee shot
in the fairway en route to a par at the 10th.
Although he again hit just three of 14 fairways, Woods's
misses weren't as wild as those of Friday and on Saturday.
A birdie chance at 13 went begging when an over-eager fan in
the immense gallery following Woods yelled as he stroked his 10-footer.
But Woods, clearly angry, shook it off to roll in a
12-footer for birdie at 14.
That launched a sequence of
birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie, with Woods rolling in a five-footer at the
He reached five-under for the tournament - and broke into
the top 20 on the leaderboard - with a birdie at the second before two bogeys
"I'm excited to get this one under my belt," said
Woods, adding that until his next start he'll be working on
As Woods wrapped up his round, Sweden's Alex Noren was
clinging to the lead on 12-under par through 11 holes, with former world number
one Jason Day, Ryan Palmer and J.B. Holmes all at 11-under on the back nine.