Tiger Woods stumbles in return at Hero World Challenge

Tiger Woods opens Hero World Challenge with back-to-back bogeys in comeback from injury

So much for a fast start.

Tiger Woods began his latest comeback from injury with two bogeys on the first two holes at the Hero World Challenge. He finished with a five-over-par 77 as he flubbed chip shots and only had four birdie chances inside of 20 feet.

Woods was in last place among the 18-man field in Windermere, Fla., already 11 shots behind Jordan Spieth, who is coming off a runaway win last week in the Australian Open.

“One of those days where nothing went my way,” Woods said. “It is surprising that I could hit chips that poorly.”

His first tee shot at Isleworth Golf & Country Club outside Orlando, Fla., on Thursday veered left out of bounds.  Next came another wayward tee shot to the left on the par-3 second hole. The same thing happened on No. 3, but he recovered for par.

Woods underwent back surgery in the spring, then returned to the PGA Tour only to pull himself off for more recuperation in late August. The Hero World Challenge, an 18-player event that benefits his charity foundation, marks his first competitive golf since then.

Steve Stricker made five birdies in a bogey-free round of 67 and was one shot behind Spieth in a group with Dubai World Tour Championship winner Henrik Stenson, Zach Johnson and Rickie Fowler.

Follow David Wharton on Twitter @LATimesWharton

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