With a first-round, three-under par 69 on Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open, Tiger Woods kicked off his 2011 golf season with a relatively quiet debut, finishing the day tied for 22nd, five shots off the lead. At this time last year, Woods was a punchline.
After Thursday’s round, he’d settled into his role as a national enigma. Woods showed off a new swing at Torrey Pines, but it was his short game—namely, his putts—that kept him from making a bigger splash in the quasi-comeback tour.
“Woods missed a good half-dozen birdie putts from within 15 feet,” the Journal’s Matthew Futterman reports from San Diego. But fans rooting for Woods shouldn’t fear: he has absolutely dominated this tournament in the past, winning seven titles, and in four of those victories, according to the Associated Press, he trailed by five shots or more in the opening round.
Still, this anticipated debut left plenty of doubt in the minds of those hoping for something less frustrating from the 35-year-old. “Ultimately, this wasn’t the rebirth of the superhero of 2000 as much as it was a continuation of the evolution of 2010,” Robert Lusetich of Fox Sports writes. “A man still in search of his game, still not quite sure of himself.”