Tiger Woods Shoots 3-Over 74 in First Round Since Back Surgery

Tiger Woods had seven bogeys and four birdies in a 3-over 74 in his first round since undergoing back surgery, leaving him tied for 83rd heading into today’s second round at the U.S. PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans National.

Woods, who began play at the 10th hole, bogeyed his opening two holes and five of his first nine yesterday at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. He rebounded with three birdies over his final six holes, including two in a row on Congressional’s seventh and eighth holes.

When Woods birdied his sixth hole of the day, sinking an 8-foot putt on the par-4 14th, it was his first since March 8.

Australian Greg Chalmers leads the event at 5-under 66, one shot ahead of American Ricky Barnes and Sweden’s Freddie Jacobson.

Woods had missed more than three months following back surgery and said that he wouldn’t be playing this week if the tournament didn’t benefit his charitable foundation. His original goal was to return at next month’s British Open.

The 14-time major winner has dropped to No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking since undergoing surgery on March 31 to repair a pinched nerve in his back. He completed one U.S. PGA Tour event this season, finishing 25th at the Cadillac Championship three weeks before his surgery, and missed the Masters Tournament in April and this month’s U.S. Open.

Woods is four wins shy of matching Jack Nicklaus’s 18 major titles and three away from tying Sam Snead’s 82 PGA Tour victories.

Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar, golf’s top four ranked players, aren’t playing in the event.

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