Hole-by-hole recap of Tiger's return to golf

BY foxsports • February 26, 2009

Miss any of Tiger's return to golf? Worry not. Catch up on Wednesday's dominant victory with our hole-by-hole updates from the Accenture Match Play Championship. Time stamps indicate the time at which the players began the hole. All times listed are ET. To view all scores, click here.

Tiger Woods       3 and 2Brendan Jones







Match play mania





Tiger Woods


Photos:
Check out all the great action shots from Tiger's twosome and the rest of the first round of the Match Play Championship.







Hole No. 16, 6:03 p.m.: Jones leads off on the 184-yard Par 3 with a fine golf shot. He sticks the ball pin-high, maybe 20 feet out for birdie. Tiger seems unsure on club selection. He keeps throwing grass in the air to gauge the wind. A three-quarter follow-through probably should have been a full swing, as Tiger's shot comes up just short in the front bunker.

Tiger has a good lie in the bunker and knocks it to three feet. Jones needs to sink his putt to extend the match, assuming a Tiger tap-in. Can Jones survive for a third straight hole? He cannot. The putt goes past about five feet, as Jones was not going to leave it short. He hits the five-foot comebacker to force Tiger to finish out. And there it is.

Hole halved. Tiger wins 3 and 2

Hole No. 15, 5:52 p.m.: There was a logjam at No. 15, so Tiger tees off after waiting for over 20 minutes on the tee. So what does Tiger do? Takes out driver on the driveable Par 4, and puts it on the front edge of the green, within makeable eagle distance. The crowd at the green goes wild. But Jones isn't done! Jones also drives the green, and will have an eagle putt inside of 15 feet.

Tiger's eagle putt starts off on line, but stops a few feet short. Jones can again extend the match with a make here. And Jones drains it again! We'll play another.

Jones wins hole. Tiger 3 UP


What is Match Play?





Most events are "stroke play" -- you play 18 holes and tally your score. "Match play" is a head-to-head format in which the golfer with the lower score on a hole wins that hole and gets 1 point (it doesn't matter how many strokes he wins the hole by). If the golfers tie, they "halve" the hole and no one gets a point. The match ends when one golfer is up by more holes than there are holes remaining.







Hole No. 14, 5:17 p.m.: Tiger pures one down the middle, a low-trajectory bullet with a slight draw. Jones' drive is way right, ending up on the other side of the fairway trap. This will be Jones' final hole if he can't halve it.

Tiger's approach finds the fat part of the green, about 40 feet long and left of the flag. He'll have that for birdie. A smart play with Jones in trouble. Jones' second shot stays on the green, but he will have a very lengthy birdie putt. Could be 100 feet.

Jones has a good effort at his putt, running it about six feet past the hole. Tiger's putt to win it ends up inches short, so Jones will have a putt to extend the match. And extend it he does!

Hole halved. Tiger 4 UP

Hole No. 13, 5:02 p.m.: On this last Par 5 of the round, Tiger's drive catches the first cut on the right edge of the fairway, while Jones is once again down the middle. Jones has to make a move soon, with only six holes remaining.

Tiger's long-iron second shot balloons in the air before landing on the green, directly on line with the pin. The ball scoots past the hole, nearly brushing the edge of the cup, giving the greenside fans a mini-thrill. The ball ends up just through the green, leaving Tiger a downhill 20-footer (or so) from the fringe. Jones' second shot skips once pin-high and finds the left bunker.

Jones hits a fantastic bunker shot that nearly goes in. He would have had a makeable birdie putt, but Tiger drains his eagle to make it a moot point. Woods is closing in on victory.

Tiger wins hole. Tiger 4 UP


Time for Tiger








Tracking Tiger: Tiger Woods doesn't play unless he thinks he can win. Robert Lusetich previews the historic comeback.







Video: Will anyone challenge the No. 1 player in the world this season? Mark Kriegel gives his surprising take.







Photos: The Woods family foursome is full with the arrival of Charlie Axel. Check out the first pictures of the newborn.









Hole No. 12, 4:51 p.m.: Tiger once again has flared an iron to the right, his tee shot to the Par 3 12th landing on the back right of the green and trickling off the surface. Jones comes over his shot, smothering it left and long. The ball ends up near the grandstand behind the green, from which Jones will likely get relief.

Jones gets relief, but he has short-sided himself. He tries a delicate pitch, but he fluffs it. The ball does not even reach the putting surface. Tiger's relatively straightforward pitch nestles in tight to a few feet. Jones concedes when his chip shot for par fails to find the hole.

Tiger wins hole. Tiger 3 UP

Hole No. 11, 4:30 p.m.: This Par 5 is playing into the wind, so eagle will be a longshot here (pun intended). Tiger won't be going for it anyway, as his drive finds the fairway trap. Jones, meanwhile, has found yet another fairway. If he can start sinking some putts, he'll have a chance on the back 9.

Tiger doesn't even think about going for the green, but does advance the ball out of the bunker onto the fairway. Jones also lays up, leaving himself a simple shot from the middle of the fairway.

Tiger still has a long way to go, as he will hit his third shot with a five-wood. The green is protected by traps on most sides, so no real chance to run this ball up. Tiger's shot lands about 1/3 of the way onto the green and releases slightly. He'll have about 30 feet for birdie. Jones, from much better position, airmails the green with a wedge and will have to chip back towards the hole from some thick grass.

Tiger's downhill, right-to-left putt for birdie comes up one revolution short. He'll settle for par. Jones nearly holes his chip, but it runs about six feet by. He has to make it to halve the hole. And Jones drains it, center cup. One of the few well-struck putts Jones has had today.

Hole halved. Tiger 2 UP


share story