17 Jul 2020 | Professional golf |

Tiger's back, Leishman starts well

by Martin Blake

Tiger Woods Memorial image
Tiger Woods on his way to a 71 at the Memorial today. Photo: Getty

As Tiger Woods made a solid return to tournament golf at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio, Marc Leishman set himself up as the leading Australian.

Woods, making his first start since the Covid-19 virus shut down the US PGA Tour in February, rolled in a nice four-metre birdie at the last hole for a one-under par 71 today.

The 15-time major champion is five shots from the lead held by Presidents Cup star Tony Finau, who birdied the last two holes for a six-under par 66 in breezy conditions.

Woods began with a rush, making a three-metre birdie at the first hole and a tap-in birdie at the third before faltering in the middle of his round. A cluster of the big names are in the mix, including Jon Rahm (69), world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth (both 70).

“I would like to have started with easier conditions,” Woods said. “Wind pumping and swirling all over the place. It felt good. I was a little bit rusty, but felt like overall it was a good start. I was certainly feeling the edginess and nervousness and anxiousness of playing. Getting out there and feeling something I hadn’t felt in a while, it felt good.”

Leishman is at even-par 72, tied-26th, after carding four birdies and four bogeys in his opening round.

Jason Day started with a 73 and Cameron Smith and Jason Scrivener both limped to 74s.

In Europe, Victorian Deyen Lawson is in contention at the Austrian Open after following up his opening 63 with a 68 overnight. Lawson is tied-fifth at eight-under par, four shots behind Joost Luiten’s lead.

US Tour leaderboard

Austrian Open leaderboard

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