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Woods shows no sign of rustiness as Wells Fargo Championship beckons


The Tiger Woods show is back and setting up shop for a week-long residency at Quail Hollow, reports

Woods returned in Charlotte after a standard post-Masters recess and played nine holes on Tuesday with Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Dru Love ahead of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship.

Woods hasn’t played here since 2012 and this was largely a re-acclimation day for Woods and caddie Joe LaCava, who got a jumpstart by arriving to Charlotte on Sunday.


Turns out Love kind of set up the whole pairing, something he explained Tuesday afternoon while walking away from the clubhouse, through the player parking lot to the driving range after the round.

“When Tiger committed to the tournament my teacher Jordan Dempsey texted me and said, ‘You should play with Tiger on Tuesday,’” Love said.

“I should get credit,” Dempsey called out from a few paces ahead.

“I just gave you credit,” Love shouted back.

Love’s dad, 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, texted Woods and he immediately replied that he was in.

They recruited Love’s former Alabama teammate Justin Thomas, who won the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, and Love III was supposed to round out the foursome. The elder Love’s back was acting up, so he just walked and talked with the group while Bryson DeChambeau filled in as the fourth.

It was Woods’ first time back in the public eye since that furious lead-up to the first major of the year, during which he evoked memories of the glory days with a T-2 finish at the Valspar Championship and a T-5 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Expectations rose higher than they have since his Player of the Year campaign in 2013 and with good reason. He currently ranks sixth on Tour in strokes gained: around the green and eighth in strokes gained: putting.

A T-37 finish at the Masters tempered expectations, and Woods looked burned out by the end of it. Tuesday he appeared loose and rejuvenated, ready for another test on a tough golf course that should definitely reward his uncanny ability to grind out pars.

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