Tiger Woods finishes first round at Quicken National at even par

We’re not surprised by Tiger Woods’ comeback any more, are we? No? OK, good. Woods is now a regular presence on the PGA Tour, if not the top of the leaderboards. Thursday, Woods teed off in the first round of the Quicken Loans National, a tournament his foundation runs, and the results were … well, par for the course.

Why are we still writing about Woods?

Because he’s one of the best ever to play the game. If Jordan came back and played weak-sauce basketball or Gretzky came and skated some mediocre minutes, we’d write about them too. Call it the G.O.A.T. bump.

How did Tiger’s round go?

Woods finished at even par, carding two birdies on the back nine to offset a double-bogey on No. 6. Matters began well enough with a strong drive off the first tee:

But an unplayable lie on No. 6 cost him:

Woods finally settled down on the back nine, working approach shots that gave him birdie opportunities. Alas, it seems that switching to a mallet putter from his trusty Scotty Cameron may not have been the answer:

If there’s anything to take from this round, it’s that things can always get worse.

What’s next for Tiger?

Well, a tee time Friday morning, for starters. Woods, paired with Marc Leishman and Bill Haas, will go off at 8:20 a.m. He’ll be at least seven strokes off the lead, but he’ll be inside the cut line or right on it. So he’ll have a bit of work to do to make the weekend, but nothing unmanageable.

Big picture? That’s a little hazier. The Quicken Loans field isn’t exactly the most stacked. And if Woods can’t throw a scare into this crew, there’s reason to question whether he ever will again, anywhere. We’ll find out more soon enough.

Tiger Woods hits from the bunker on the fifth hole during the first round of the Quicken Loans National golf tournament, Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Potomac, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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