Spieth first with 66, Woods last at 77

Tiger Woods struggled in his first competitive round in four months as Jordan Spieth shot 6-under-par 66 to take a one-stroke lead over four players after the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Isleworth Country Club in Orlando, Fla.

Woods, playing for the first time since missing the cut in the PGA Championship at Valhalla to end a season short-circuited by two back injuries, carded a 77 that included only one birdie and was 18th and last in the field, four strokes behind his closest competitors.

“It was weird,” said Woods, who had problems chipping and putting, but was pleased with his full shots, especially his driving on the back nine. “I didn’t feel like I hit it that bad. My short game was awful, and I didn’t make anything.

“It certainly is surprising that I could hit chips that poorly. Just flubbed them. I felt comfortable on a lot of the chip shots this week as I was playing practice rounds off the tighter spots. But when it got a little grainier, just wasn’t as good as I needed it to be.”

Spieth, coming off a six-stroke victory in the Emirates Australian Open when he closed with a 63, posted five of his seven birdies in a row through No. 10 before making his only bogey on the 11th hole.

The 21-year-old Spieth led by one over Henrik Stenson of Sweden, who captured the DP World Championship-Dubai in his last start, Steve Stricker, Rickie Fowler and defending champion Zach Johnson.

“I’m excited about the start to this week,” said Spieth who added that it took him several days to get over the jet lag after flying in from Australia . “I’m excited about how last week went and kind of riding the momentum.

“I was 100 percent today. Should stay that way the rest of the week.”

Jimmy Walker shot 68 and was tied for sixth with Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan.


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