Woods, who had spent nine months out with a back injury, made his competitive return at the Hero World Challenge yesterday.

He made a solid start, carding a three-under-par round of 69 which leaves him in a tie for eighth.

The former world number one, who is now ranked 1,199th, looked to be hitting long off the tee, but had a couple of unlucky breaks on the back nine.

And Woods thanked the likes of McIlroy and Johnson for taking the time out to help him get ready for his return to the PGA Tour.

“The guys have been great, from JT to Berger to Rory to all the guys, Rickie, DJ,” Woods said. 

“I played with all of them, and they’re all trying to help me. 

“They’re all texting me, ‘Come on, let’s go out and play. Let’s go play for some dollars and have a good time.’ 

“They really want to help me and come back and play.”

Woods partnered FedEx Cup champion Justin Thomas in the first round, with the latter shooting the same score (-3).

Meanwhile, Tommy Fleetwood, who was crowned the Race to Dubai champion last month, leads the way on six under par.


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