Tiger Woods is back… well sort of, for the man who made his 2015 debut in yesterday’s opening round in Phoenix clearly has much work to do…

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Yesterday’s return of the great one in the Waste Management Phoenix Open failed to live up to the tournament promoters’ dreams, for having finally enticed him back after 14 years away, the Tiger Woods who turned up yesterday seemed a shadow of the man who created one of the loudest roars even he has ever heard when he holed in one in the crucible of the 16th hole here back in 1997.

Woods got away poorly in the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open cramming two bogeys and a double into his opening four holes before bagging his first competitive birdie of 2015 on the 5th. But it was an error-strewn display with his short game looking just as suspect as it had been in his own tournament at the tail end of 2014. Yes, he’s a little ring-rusty; yes, he’s older than he once was; and yes, he is going through the turmoil of swing changes once again with new coach, Chris Como. But this was a lacklustre display that will have set alarm bells ringing among all those who need an on-form Tiger back in the game.

Yet in amongst it all there were positives, with Tiger also hitting what was almost certainly the shot of the day when he all but holed his second shot on the par-5 13th for a kick-in eagle, before adding another birdie on 17 to salvage a degree of two-over par respectability from a round that looked to be heading for much worse than that for much of the way.

It will be interesting to see how quickly Wood’s new swing settles in over the coming weeks and months, but perhaps of more interest will be to see what happens to a short game that was once revered throughout the golfing world but which now seems to be undergoing some kind of major crisis. With Woods starting round two just as slowly as round one as I write this, it seems the great man is destined to endure just missed cut number 12 in his 17-year-long PGA Tour career…