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Tiger Woods Left His Underdog Expectations Back In 2018

Woods has a long way to go this season and a Top 20 finish at The Farmers Insurance Open wouldn't be a bad place to start.

Tiger Woods began his highly anticipated 2019 PGA Tour journey at The Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday. The 43-year-old icon shot a -2 under on the much harder South Course of Torey Pines, a place where he has produced 8 of his 80 career event wins.

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Tiger Woods birdied the 18th hole to finish his first round of the season with a 2-under par 70 at the Farmers Insurance Open. He finished the day with 5 birdies and 3 bogeys. He’s 8 shots off the leader Jon Rahm.

Tiger enters this season on a much different wave then last year, when the legend debuted at the Hero World Challenge on Nov. 30, 2017.  Nobody knew what to expect from a guy who was no longer winning matches, had been through a whirlwind of personal troubles, some legal matters, and prohibitive physical injuries.

Woods returned to golf after a long layoff of self-rehabilitation and he not only shocked the world with the season he had but elevated golf and the sport’s ratings considerably. Overnight, Woods re-established himself as the only real game in town when it comes to interest in golf.

Woods competed in 18 events, the most since 2012. His 68 rounds of golf were his highest total since 2005. His seven Top 10 finishes were his best showing since 2013.  After a few near misses, he capped off his redemption season with his first tour win since 2013. 

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Welcome back, @TigerWoods. 🏆 https://t.co/qeMHOmpmEG

Tiger has a long way to go this season and a Top 20 finish at The Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished 23rd last season, wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

“Not great,” said Tiger said of his first round performance, also admitting that was still rusty and has some improvements to make. “Just my feel …playing at competitive speed again. I didn’t quite hit all my irons pin high like I always do.”

Playing on the South course didn’t help either. 4 of the 5 top scorers played on the North course, including the leader who shot -10 under.

Tiger, currently tied for 53rd, gets to play on the North course today. There’s reportedly a two-stroke difference between the courses, which means he should have an even better day. The North course players were a combined -203 under par on Thursday.  The South course players were a combined -29 under.

The 2019 PGA Tour season is officially underway now that the greatest attraction in sports is back at it.