Harman, Finau Lead 24th Hero World Challenge at 67 as Tiger Returns With 75

Left-hander Brian Harman and Tony Finau are right at the top of the leaderboard.

Harman and Finau both posted five-under-par 67s to lead Jordan Spieth by one stroke after the first round of the 24th Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course in New Providence, The Bahamas.

Tournament host Tiger Woods, playing for the first time since undergoing a second surgery on his right leg, made two early birdies but struggled coming home with a double-bogey and two bogeys in a 75 and is 18th in the 20-player field of this unofficial PGA Tour event.

“Obviously, my game was somewhat rusty, but I got off to a good start, play it tough in the middle of the round, but then things went kind of sideways near the end,” said Woods, who has won this tournament five times, but not since 2011. “I didn’t have my normal feels, but I hit the ball solidly, although not always on line.

“I felt good while I was out there playing, but I’m sore all over right now. So we’ll some work done tonight to take care of that, and then I’ll come back out here tomorrow and try to put up a better score.”

The ninth-ranked Harman, who has won three times on the PGA Tour including the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, last July, made the last three of his six birdies in a row through the 15th hole before carding his only bogey at No. 18.

Finau, who claimed three of his six victories on the PGA Tour in 2022 and also won the Mexico Open in April, had four of his six birdies on the back nine after making his lone bogey on the 10th hole.

“Well, he’s in phenomenal shape,” Harman said of Woods. “It looks like he could suit it up for the (Georgia Bulldogs) Dawgs on Saturday. He is a heck of an athlete. I hope he feels good, I hope he’s moving good, I hope he’s pain-free and can play a little bit more.”

Spieth, who won the Hero in 2014 by a whopping 10 strokes, made a five-foot eagle putt on the fifth hole and a 60-foot for another eagle at No. 15 in his 68, while top-ranked Scottie Scheffler had seven birdies and four bogies in a 69 to tie for fourth with seventh-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal, who had six birdies; Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal, who made the last of his six birdies at No. 18, and Cameron Young, the 2022 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, who made three straight birdies on the front nine and closed his round with two more.

Eighth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England sank a nine-foot eagle putt on the seventh hole and added five birdies in a 70 to tie for eighth with Justin Thomas, who rallied with five birdie on the last 10 holes while playing alongside Woods.

Fourth-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway, two-time defending champion in the Hero, shot 73 and is solo 16th, while; Rickie Fowler, who won this event in 2017, is 17th at 74, and 10th-ranked Wyndham Clark, the reigning U.S. Open champion, posted a 76 and is 19th.

Will Zalatoris, the 2021 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year who is playing for the first time since undergoing back surgery in April, made his only birdie on the first hole and is 20th after struggling to an 81.

The Hero World Challenge benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation.

For complete results and second-round tee times, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard     

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