Tiger Woods’ return to competitive golf got a strong boost Wednesday with his win over Australian outsider Brendan Jones in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.
It is Woods’ first tournament since beating the pain barrier to win the US Open last June and spending eight months on the sidelines recovering from reconstructive surgery on a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. The 33-year-old world No. 1 birdied his first hole and later added three more birdies and one eagle. He also had three bogeys. “I hit the ball well starting out,” said the defending champion and three-time winner, according to pgatour.com. “Hit a couple of loose irons in the middle part of the round, but other than that, I really hit it pretty good all day.”
The match ended on the 16th hole with Woods up by 3, a lead Jones could not overcome in the final two holes at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. Woods next takes on South Africa’s Tim Clark, who beat compatriot Retief Goosen.