At the Genesis Invitational, Tiger Woods battles back pain and a 72-card round (part 2).

The Pacific Ocean THE PALISADES, California -- When Tiger Woods was asked about his next-to-last swing during Thursday's opening round of the Genesis Invitational, a reporter felt it was inappropriate to say the five-letter term that is considered to be the most dreaded in the golf world.

During the final six holes at Riviera Country Club, Woods, who was making his debut in the 2024 season and making his first appearance in an official PGA Tour tournament since the Masters in April, stated that he was experiencing back spasms.

As Woods attempted to smash an eight-iron from the right side of the 18th fairway, his back became stiff and he was unable to stroke the ball. His ball crashed into a eucalyptus tree and came to a stop behind four trees. It made a direct impact with the tree.

"My back experienced spasms during the last few holes and became immobilized," Woods stated. "I descended and the object remained stationary, then I positioned the hosel in front and struck it with a shank."

For whatever reason, Woods' third shot found the green. He made bogey with a two-putt. His round came to a dismal end, putting him at 1-over 72. Eight strokes behind Patrick Cantlay, who led the opening round, he was tied for 49th.

Woods needs to get some work done on Friday if he wants to play on Saturday and Sunday. All players within ten strokes of the lead, as well as the top fifty scores and ties, will advance to the 36-hole cut in the third marquee event of the season on the PGA Tour.

Woods had five birdies and six bogeys. On the front, he shot 1-under 34, but bogeyed two of the first three holes on the back. He made another bogey on the par-4 15th before mishitting the closing hole. He called his first round "a lot of good and indifferent."

"I struggled with greenspeed," Woods remarked. "I made two and couldn't believe how fast they were today. I ran several by the hole today, which was stressful. But the golf course is flawless. To finish the golf course so quickly after all the rain is astounding."

After a vehicle accident near Riviera Country Club in February 2021, Woods, 48, had fusion surgery on April 19 for post-traumatic arthritis. The surgery sidelined him for eight months. The first competitive round since Woods' home back spasms was this one. Woods admitted his calf was uncomfortable after Thursday's round, but his right foot was good.

Woods isn't used to changing his swing and putting stroke throughout rounds because he plays so little professional golf. Only two of his five official events from the previous two seasons were 72-hole competitions. Last year, he tied for 45th at the Genesis Invitational.

"I'm going to be rusty, and I have to do a better job at home prepping," said Woods. Everything from lifting and treating to continuing rehab protocols—we need to improve in those areas. It has been quite some time since I last did it.

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