Tiger Woods Rallies to Take 1st-Round Lead in ZOZO Championship 2019

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2019

INZAI, JAPAN - OCTOBER 21: Tiger Woods of the USA during The Challenge: Japan Skins at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club on October 21, 2019 in Inzai, Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Tiger Woods overcame a rough start to shoot a six-under 64 during the first round of the 2019 ZOZO Championship in Chiba, Japan.

Woods' 2019-20 season could not have gotten off to a much worse start, as he bogeyed each of his first three holes of the tournament. However, he eventually settled in and put his disastrous beginning behind him.

The 15-time major champ turned things around by running off a string of four birdies in five holes to close out the back nine, nabbing three in a row at one point:


First 🐦 of the season. @TigerWoods gets back to 2-over. #QuickHits https://t.co/THYA8Lz2w2

Just like that, he went from three over par to one under as he made his way to the front nine.

The 43-year-old's surge stalled on the first two holes of the front nine, but he quickly regained some momentum with back-to-back-to-back birdies:


Just one back. @TigerWoods continues to fight back. #QuickHits https://t.co/Vf16uL47cI


Another one. @TigerWoods is putting on a show in Japan. #QuickHits https://t.co/0G4Vr3Sc2T


.@TigerWoods is tied for the lead at the @zozochamp. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/1KQI1Wwd5k

With the help of seven birdies in 10 holes, he moved into a three-way tie atop the leaderboard at four-under.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

After bogeying his first 3 holes, Tiger Woods has 7 birdies in the last 11 holes and sits tied for first (4-under) with Hideki Matsuyama and Gary Woodland. Woods' 7 birdies is currently 2 more than any other player in the field. https://t.co/GKeeH3C1yJ

He wasn't finished, though. A birdie on hole No. 7 gave Woods the lead all to himself for the first time.


Are you serious? 😲 @TigerWoods has taken the outright lead. 😳 He's made EIGHT birdies in his last 12 holes. 🙌 #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/TTztLxrxyY

A birdie on his final hole—his ninth of the round—was a fitting way to end the day. By the time Woods' first round came to an end, he held a two-stroke lead, though others were still in action at that point. 

PGA TOUR Communications @PGATOURComms

Tiger Woods' 6-under 64 is his lowest round since the first round of the 2018 BMW Championship. After opening with three consecutive bogeys, Woods birdied nine of his last 15 holes.

This marked the first Tour event for Woods since August, when he tied for 37th at the BMW Championship. 

Woods' second round was initially scheduled to begin at 7:40 p.m. ET on Thursday night, but inclement weather in the forecast will push tee times up one hour.