Golf: Theegala struggles to 71 at Genesis as Woods cards 72 in first official event in 10 months

February 16, 2024
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Sahith Theegala had an average day at the Riviera Country Club, shooting 1-over 72 and was Tied-49th, as Korea’s Byeong Hun An fought

Pacific Palisades (USA), Feb 16 (IANS) Sahith Theegala had an average day at the Riviera Country Club, shooting 1-over 72 and was Tied-49th, as Korea’s Byeong Hun An fought back brilliantly from a difficult front nine to post a 4-under 67 to be tied eighth at The Genesis Invitational. Tournament host Tiger Woods, playing in his first official tournament since last April, carded a 72.

Woods admitted he had butterflies in his stomach as he prepared for yet another comeback. The 15-time major winner endured a mixed bag with five birdies and six bogeys. “Definitely nervous. I care about how I play and certainly I was feeling the nerves starting out,” he said.

Byeong Am was three back of leader Patrick Cantlay (64) after the first round. An, making his first start at Riviera Country Club since 2017, struggled with an outward 37 but lit up his homeward journey with four birdies and an eagle on the 17th hole.

Theegala had two birdies and a bogey on the front nine and then had an eagle on the 11th but followed it up with a double on the 12th. He closed bogey-bogey for 71.

Another Korean Tom Kim opened with a 69 after putting on a scrambling masterclass with eight up-and-downs for par saves to share 15th place alongside Si Woo Kim and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who made five birdies. Sungjae Im returned a 71 while Chinese Taipei’s Kevin Yu shot a 75 in the third Signature event of the season offering a prize fund of US$20 million.

Cantlay, a former FedExCup champion and an eight-time PGA TOUR winner, fired his career-low round at Riviera with a superb 64 to lead by one stroke from Luke List and Aussie duo, Cam Davis and Jason Day. Cantlay hit eight birdies against a lone bogey for his best haul at Riviera in 29 career rounds at The Genesis Invitational.

–IANS/bsk/

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