Tiger Woods briefly takes lead, in contention at Hero World Challenge

Tiger Woods briefly takes lead, in contention at Hero World Challenge

There was a fine approach to five feet on the first, a two-putt birdie from 30 feet on the par-five third and a brilliant second shot to four feet on the third.

Woods was 1 over on the back nine with one birdie and two bogeys and now sits five shots off the lead at 7 under. He also played the five par-5 holes in 1-over for the day.

The solid second-round effort, which included an eagle and four birdies, left the former world number one tied for fifth place at seven-under 137 in his first tournament in almost 10 months following spinal fusion surgery.

The 14-time major champion, who has had four back operations in the past three years, finished tied for eighth in the 18-strong field with Englishman Tommy Fleetwood in the lead on 66.

Woods was even on the second hole to remain at four-under. "If that's the case, I think a good, solid round should get me up there".

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"I thought it was great", said Woods, who matched the round of his playing partner in PGA Tour's Player of the Year Justin Thomas. He made five birdies and two bogies and hit seven of 13 fairways, 11 of 18 greens and had 27 putts. "Only thing I really struggled with today was the speed of the greens". They were dry, they were rolling out and I airmailed a few of them well past the hole. "A lot more practice, a lot more training and more tournaments".

"I proved that the surgery was successful", he said, referring to the spinal fusion that he had in April, which knocked him out of commission for the rest of the season. "I played nine straight days at home before coming here and that's one of the reasons I did just that".

On the back nine, he picked up three more birdies before a bogey on the 15th pegged him back again.

"I didn't know what to expect, because I hadn't played".

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