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Tiger Woods plummets from first to almost-worst during his return to competitive golf

Tiger Woods’ return to competitive golf got off to a great start Thursday at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Can’t say the same for how he finished though.

Playing in a tournament for the first time since August 2015, Woods had four birdies in his first eight holes, including three straight on holes 6 through 8. At that point, he was tied for the lead at four under.

Then the former world No. 1 golfer started to struggle, with two bogeys over his next three holes before appearing to recover with three pars and a birdie over the next four holes to stay in the mix at three under with three holes remaining.

Too bad he couldn’t have stopped there.

Instead, Woods double-bogeyed twice during that stretch to finish the day at one-over-par 73 and in 17th place out of 18 players. He’s nine strokes over leader J.B. Holmes and just one under last-place Justin Rose.

"I didn't play the par fives well in the middle of the round and consequently got it going the wrong way,” Woods said after his round.

Of course, we need to keep in mind Woods is seeing his first real action following back surgery and a lengthy hiatus. But it’s hard not to feel at least a little disappointed after the way he started the day.

charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii

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