Pebble Beach: Tiger Woods returns to start U.S. 2012 season


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Tiger Woods kicks off his 2012 PGA Tour season Thursday at Pebble Beach with amateur playing partner Tony Romo, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, at the Spyglass Hill course.

And it’s not a back kickoff so far, even with a quarterback as a partner. Woods has birdied his first two holes at Spyglass Hill and is 2-under. That’s three shots off the lead because Northern Californian Nick Watney has played nine holes so far at Spyglass and he’s 5-under.


Yes, the weather is beautiful. The wind is nonexistent.

Woods began his round on the par-four 10th hole and after a picture-perfect drive, his wedge shot hit the stick. A three-foot birdie was almost an anticlimax for the 10-deep gallery.

Tiger, whose swing coach Sean Foley was in the gallery, seemed pleased on the par-5 11th, when Tiger hit another great drive. His approach left Woods a 14-foot putt for eagle. The ball touched the cup but didn’t drop. Another anticlimactic birdie.

The tournament leader so far is Watney, also playing Spyglass.

John Huh, the 21-year-old who now lives in Los Angeles and is in in first year on the PGA Tour, is at three-under through 17 on Spyglass. Phil Mickelson, who has continually said how happy he is with his game this season while not coming close to winning a tournament, is 1-under through four holes at Spyglass.


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-- Diane Pucin, reporting from Pebble Beach, Calif.