Sports

List takes 1-shot lead at Honda Classic with Woods 7 back

List takes 1-shot lead at Honda Classic with Woods 7 back

The 14-time major victor negotiated strong winds to post a one-over-par 71 and at one over he sits just four shots back of leaders Luke List (66) and Jamie Lovemark (through 16 holes) at three under.

Alex Noren and Webb Simpson defied hard blustery winds to lead the US PGA Tour's Honda Classic Thursday as Tiger Woods said he was "very pleased" with an even par 70.

It may have been just an even-par 70 to start the Honda Classic but Tiger Woods was "very pleased" with what he called the best ball-striking round of his latest comeback from injury.

Woods was two shots off the lead until putting his tee shot into the water on the par-3 15th for double bogey. He was at 7-under 203.

He teed off on the 10th and had two birdies and a bogey in his first nine holes.

The Swede grabbed the last of his five birdies at his final hole, the par-four ninth and he was thrilled with his early blistering form.

"I can't believe it's his third start, " said Snedeker, who played with Woods during the first two rounds and also the third round at Torrey Pines last month. I guess the guy, one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation guys that was following our group, he was asking him about the rules and he goes, "I'm a cop". He was in control from tee to green most of the round and missed a number of mid-range birdie chances over the first 11 holes. "At least I found it hard".

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At four over par and the cut expected to be around five over, McIlroy could easily have let the round slip but instead he got his head down and ground it out. "There's not really too many easy holes, but if you hit fairways and go from there, you can make a few birdies out there". I played well all day.

"One bad hole today", Woods said.

Woods dropped a stroke on No. 16 when he found a green-side bunker on his approach en route to a bogey, but he still finished the opening nine one-under par.

His work around the greens remained solid, but his putter was definitely just lukewarm for most of the day.

Brandel Chamblee, who once opined that Tiger Woods' golf swing resembled "a dead mackerel wrapped in newspaper", now can't stop gushing about how well the 14-time major champion is slugging the ball. "I've done that, and I'm right there with a chance".

Then, he hit out of a fairway bunker, over the water and onto the green at the unsafe 16th hole and faced a 65-foot putt. He was virtually certain to miss the cut. This is a ideal golf course for him.

"So I took something off of it, kind of chipped a 5 in there and it worked out good and I hit a good putt". "He hit some nice shots and rolled in some nice putts".