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Tiger Woods was back on the golf course Thursday for the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship and will continue to play on Friday despite dealing with some pain.
The 46-year-old athlete was focused as ever on the course of the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the tournament's opening round — though finished with a 4-over 74 after the first 18 holes, a score that landed him in the middle of the pack.
That's well behind Rory McIlroy, who grabbed the first-round lead with a 5-under 65.
It didn't look like it would be that way at first, Woods jumping to the leaderboard with early birdies on two holes of his first nine on the day, according to Fox Sports.
But as the game progressed, McIlroy and Jordan Spieth — who are grouped with Woods — pulled ahead, both players often shooting past the golf legend as a string of bogeys left him in the back of the pack.
"I got off to a great start and didn't keep it going," Woods told reporters afterward, Yahoo Sports reported. "I really didn't give myself any looks for birdie ... It was a frustrating day."
"Those guys obviously have a different game plan," he added, Golf.com reported. "The game is played very differently now, and it's very aggressive."
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This is Woods' second professional golf event since his 2021 Los Angeles car crash, which left him with serious leg injuries. In April, he successfully completed all four rounds of the 2022 Masters Tournament.
He doesn't appear to be playing without pain, though. At the 104th PGA Championship, Woods was seen walking with a limp, ESPN reported.
"It has felt better before," Woods said, according to the outlet. "It's a little sore right now, and we'll go back and start the process of getting ready for [Friday]."
In his crash, Woods suffered fractures to the upper and lower portions of his tibia and fibula bones in his right leg. Multiple surgeries later, his leg and foot has since been stabilized with a rod and multiple pins, screws, and plates — though his ankle will never turn as it did before.
"Loading hurts, pressing off it hurts, and walking hurts," he said post-round, per Golf.com.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 19, 2022
Woods previously was coy about committing to his next tournament, only assuring that he planned to play at St. Andrews in July for The Open Championship.
"I won't be playing a full schedule ever again," he said in an interview with Sky Sports after his final round at the 2022 Masters. "It'll be just the big events. I don't know if I'll play [the PGA Championship] at Southern Hills or not."
"I am looking forward to St. Andrews. That's something that's very near and dear to my heart. I've won two Opens there. It's the home of golf. It's my favorite course in the world," he added.
Although Woods isn't committing to many events, the golfer isn't ruling anything out. "Anything in between [St. Andrews], I don't know, I will try. There's no doubt — I will try to get ready for Southern Hills, and we'll see what this body is able to do," he told the outlet.
Woods will tee off Friday at 1:36 p.m. local time. The PGA Championship goes through Sunday.