Tiger Woods makes strong injury return

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This round featured five birdies and even included a signature Tiger fist pump (early in the round when he saved par with a putt from just off the green at the par-4 fourth). By the end of the second round Friday, he was five shots behind Charley Hoffman, who shot 63.

While Woods made a comeback on this same property in the same tournament previous year, this time looks different. He shot a 31 on the front nine and dropped to a 37 on the back side. After a massive drive on the ninth, Woods rifled a 3-wood from 275 yards to 18 feet and canned the putt for eagle.

"I think everyone was hoping for the best, but this is definitely better than we thought", said his caddie, Joe LaCava. "They seem to be a foot faster". Those are the internal struggles I haven't had for a while.

Asked if he was close to his past level of play, Woods quickly halted such chatter.

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The 14-time major champion, who has had four back operations in the past three years, finished tied for eighth in the 18-strong field with Englishman Tommy Fleetwood in the lead on 66. "That's going to take time, a lot more practice, a lot more training and more tournaments".

"No issues at all". "Now I have a chance to go out there and play competitive golf again". My body's accustomed to playing. He made a birdie from 4 feet on the first, from 8 feet on the third, from 4 feet on the fourth. To come out here and score like I did, that was nice.

Hoffman welcomed the return of Woods and was impressed with Tiger's round.

"I didn't know what to expect, because I hadn't played. It is pretty special to be out there and to see Tiger making eagles and birdies and hopefully in contention on Sunday". Fleetwood carded seven birdies but was hurt by two bogeys and a double-bogey.

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