Rory McIlroy: I don’t like Tiger outdriving me!

​​​​​Tiger Woods sent the crowds at Riviera Country Club wild after closing his first round with three consecutive birdies in his return to competitive action after seven months out.

The 15-time Major champion, who missed the cut in his last tournament at The 150th Open Championship in July, mixed five birdies with three bogeys at the Genesis Invitational to finish the day in a share of 27th, five strokes behind leaders Max Homa and Kevin Mitchell.

“I happened to actually hit some good shots finally and made a couple of putts,” said Woods.

“Even though I had a little mishap at 10, I was able to fight back and get it going. It was a nice finish.”

“I was trying to calm myself down all day, trying to figure out what the hell I’m doing out here because I haven’t played. I probably should have appreciated the fans more than I did, but there was so much going on in my head trying to get the ball in the correct spots and the correct feels just because I haven’t done this in a while.”

Playing partner Justin Thomas, standing just off the 18th green, could only smile and shake his head after Woods sunk a third consecutive birdie on the last, while  Rory McIlroy, the final player in the star-studded three ball, was similarly bemused with the fact Woods was outdriving him.

“He did what he always does,” said McIlroy, who sits just three shots off the lead as targets a return to World No.1.

“I put my driver up a click in loft at the start of the week – I might have to turn it back down again. I don’t like Tiger hitting it by me!”

The trio get their second round underway at 7:24pm GST, starting on the back nine.

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