Tiger tied for eighth after one round at Valspar
Tiger Woods started Thursday with a beautiful birdie and ended it in unfamiliar territory -- in the hunt.
Woods shot a 1-under 70 at Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla., in the first round of the Valspar Championship. He sits in a 20-way tie for eighth place, just three shots back of the leader, PGA Tour rookie Corey Conners of Canada.
Woods, a 14-time major champion who hasn't won an event since the 2013 WGC Bridgestone Invitational, battled tough conditions to finish with nine pars, four bogeys and five birdies.
His playing partner, Jordan Spieth, shot a 5-over 76.
"It was really brutal out there," said Woods, per Golfweek. "We as a group got fooled a lot today. Into the wind it just felt like you hit walls."
This marks the first opening round Woods has finished under par since the 2015 Wyndham Championship, when he shot a 64 but wound up in a tie for 10th.
Woods, who came in 12th in last month's Honda Classic, is set to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational next week in Orlando, Fla.
Conners, who only made the field after another qualifier withdrew, leads the tournament after shooting a 4-under 67.
He finished the day with five birdies and just one bogey, getting through his round with just 24 putts.
"I don't overpower it, but everything is really solid," Conners said, according to PGATour.com. "I definitely like the challenge and like golf courses that put a premium on the fairway and hitting the green."
Kelly Kraft, Nick Watney and South Korea's Whee Kim are tied for second at 3 under, while Keegan Bradley, Scotland's Russell Knox and Jimmy Walker share the fifth spot at 2 under.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy three-putted the 18th hole and finished at 3-over 74, his fifth consecutive round above par.
England's Ian Poulter finished the day at 7 over and is in a three-way tie for last.
--Field Level Media
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