Eldrick Tont Woods is not the same Tiger, but his first few holes at Bluejack National Golf Club in Montgomery, Texas, on Monday worked out just fine.
Tiger Woods said he was on the course playing multiple holes for the first time since a third surgical procedure on his back and went five holes with friend Mark O'Meara at the Houston-area track. He fired a ceremonial tee shot down the middle of the fairway and played out the 10th hole with a par following a wedge and two-putt.
"I'm definitely a little tired but I feel pretty good," Woods said Monday. "I haven't been out here playing like this. I hadn't played any holes until today. I know people have said I've played holes back at Medalist, but I haven't. This is actually the first time I've played holes Wyndham. It's been awhile."
The Wyndham Championship in August was Woods' last event before he went back under the knife. He finished 10th.
When he'll be back on the course on a regular basis is still up in the air. The 40-year-old was the subject of a detailed ESPN The Magazine story in which his desire to return and play into his 50s was questioned, and good friend Michael Jordan was quoted in the piece saying Woods was tired and wanted to retire.
Woods said Monday he has more in the tank, but wants to return only after he builds stamina and strength. He is registered for the 116th U.S. Open at Oakmont in June, but entry does not guarantee participation.
"I haven't set any date to when I'm playing again, which is frustrating to say," he said Monday. "But to be honest with you, that's what I've had to do. I've had to go with that mindset. Would I have said that five months ago? No way. I couldn't imagine then feeling like I do right now. Keep improving. Keep getting better. Keep making progress. And I'm doing that."