WINDERMERE, Fla. – Some pro-am rounds are more important than others.
Tiger Woods’ 18 holes on Wednesday at Isleworth in the run up to Thursday’s first round at the Hero World Challenge added up to more then the sum of its normal parts for many reasons.
For starters, Woods hasn’t hit a shot that counted since missing the cut at the PGA Championship in August. Add to that his split with former swing coach Sean Foley and the addition of “swing consultant” Chris Como to the payroll.
In short, this wasn’t your normal five hour-plus pro-am. This was a litmus test of sorts.
“I felt like I really needed today. It was a nice little indicator,” Woods said. “I wanted to do some work on my swing yesterday but the rain cancelled that out.”
On Wednesday, Woods looked relaxed and on more than one occasion, like at the par-4 18th hole, he aggressively hit driver. There were no awkward moments, no painful grimaces, no cause for concern, only a scorecard that added up to 2 under par following three birdies and one bogey.
Now it’s on to the next test: Thursday’s 12:15 p.m. (ET) tee time and a score that will count, not toward the FedEx Cup point list but at least for some peace of mind.
“Obviously, playing at home with my boys but this is a bit different. Every shot counts a little bit more and it felt good to be out there, “ Woods said.