LA JOLLA, California, Jan 28 (Reuters) - After finishing three under par at the Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday, an upbeat Tiger Woods declared his surgically-fused back had passed its first big test with flying colours.
Woods found the sticky rye grass rough with monotonous regularly at Torrey Pines South course, hitting only three fairways in each of the final three rounds.
But he hit some creative and brilliant recovery shots and putted well to eke out a respectable top-30 finish in his first official event since having a spinal fusion last April.
“Overall I thought I did pretty well this week,” the American said after a closing even-par 72 in strong and gusty winds.
”Some of the shots I had to hit out of the rough, out of the trees, a few times I had to jack up the speed and had no issues at all (with my body).
“The big concern was playing out of the rough. I hadn’t played out of rye grass since last year. I hit some really good ones out of there. Unfortunately I put myself in there.”
Though not thrilled with some of his wayward drives, he pointed out that he was not the only one to have trouble finding the short grass off the tee.
“These are some of the narrowest fairways on tour and when I don’t have my best stuff -- and today was windy -- it compounded it. It made it very difficult for me.”
Woods expressed satisfaction with his short game but despite apparently coming through the week without aggravating his back he would not reveal his schedule leading up to the Masters in April.
He is due to play the Genesis Open at Riviera in Los Angeles in three weeks, while he is also expected to play two or three tournaments in Florida before heading to Augusta.
“I haven’t built out my schedule. We want to see how I was swinging after one tournament and reassess where I‘m at,” he said.
He finished at three-under 285 on Sunday on a course where he has won eight times.
He could not quite replicate the putting magic he displayed on Saturday but few others could either as the wind played just as much havoc with putting as full shots.
“It’s nice to see I was able to still grind,” Woods said. (Editing by Clare Fallon)