Rusty Woods opens with a 74 at Congressional

Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:50pm EDT
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(Reuters) - A rusty Tiger Woods sampled the good, the bad and the ugly as he opened with a three-over-par 74 at the Quicken Loans National in Bethesda, Maryland on Thursday in his first competitive round in three months.

Finally back in action after having surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back in March, the 14-times major winner mixed four birdies with seven bogeys and seven pars to finish eight shots off the early lead.

"The hard part was just getting into the rhythm of playing competitively," Woods, who missed the first two majors this year while out on the sidelines, told reporters.

"You play with your buddies all day for cash and stuff but it's just not the same. It's not the same as tournament golf, different level.

"(Here) adrenaline is rushing and I hit the ball further out here than I do at home. It unfortunately took a while to get the feel for it. That didn't start happening until midway through my front nine."

Woods, whose charity foundation is benefited by the PGA Tour event played at Congressional Country Club, made an erratic start after teeing off at the 10th, recording five bogeys in his first nine holes to reach the turn in four-over 39.

He then dropped further shots at the second and third, where he found a greenside bunker with his approach, before finding his groove on a difficult layout to inch his way a little higher up the leaderboard.

Woods sank birdie putts from inside five feet at the fourth, seventh and eighth to come home in a highly creditable one-under 35.

MIXED BAG   Continued...

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the Quicken Loans National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club - Blue Course. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports