Tiger Woods 'very pleased' after shooting a 70 at windy Honda Classic

Justin Thomas, Louis Oosthuizen, Daniel Berger, Morgan Hoffmann and Mackenzie Hughes are all one stroke off the pace on the crowded leaderboard at three under. Another shot back are Dominic Bozzelli, Jamie Lovemark, Russell Henley and Ben Crane. Among many world renowned golfers, Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia were spotted with the ribbons on their hat.

Defending champion Rickie Fowler and four-time major victor Rory McIlroy are also in the afternoon wave.

Rory McIlroy played with him last week at Riviera and suggested the gallery costs Woods a half-shot a round. Scott went into the water on the par-3 15th and made double bogey, and then hit into the water on the par-3 17th and made triple bogey.

Noren has enjoyed a strong beginning to 2018. However, the next three holes were nightmares and by the time he stood on the 14th tee, a brutal par 3, he was 4 over par, and nearly assuredly done for the week. Facing the notorious "Bear Trap" early, he actually made his way through the course's toughest stretch relatively unscathed. The wind is tough. That's exactly how he finished, four shots better than playing partners Brandt Snedeker and Patton Kizzire, a two-time victor this season.

"I'm very pleased", Woods said.

While last week's good performers from Oman can be expected to go well in Qatar, the Honda Classic offers a chance for those more used to Bermuda greens to impress.

Simpson turned in an equally impressive round during the afternoon wave.

Sweden's Noren, a nine-time victor on the European Tour, came within a whisker of bagging his first victory in the U.S. in January only to be defeated by Jason Day in a sudden-death playoff at Torrey Pines.

Webb Simpson putts out on the 18th hole during the first round of the Honda Classic.

"He controlled his ball flight really well and hit a bunch of really good shots that he wasn't able to hit at Torrey, because he was rusty", said Snedeker, who shot 74.

The fourth-ranked Thomas is the highest-ranked player in the field this week. If these players are missing the greens, scrambling is also a nice skill to have in their bag.

Padraig Harrington and Seamus Power appear to already have a battle to make the cut on their hands as they hit rounds of 76 and 77 to leave them on +6 and +7 respectively.

"I'm trying to get better, more efficient at what I'm doing", Woods said. Missed the cut past year but was T3 in 2016. His best result came in 2012, when he finished second overall, and obviously since then he's struggled in a very general way.

The 14-time major champion rolled a five-footer home to avoid dropping a shot at the 14th, only to bogey the 16th after failing to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker.

This was the shot after he double-bogeyed the par-5 third hole (Tiger started play on the back nine).

After going from a fairway bunker to the edge of the hazard right of the treacherous 16th, he chased a magical 38-yard pitch up the green from among the rocks and rushes to less than three feet to miraculously save par.

Woods rebounded with a birdie on the following hole and closed out his round with five consecutive pars.

  • Joanne Flowers