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Woods wins first match in return to golf

  • Story Highlights
  • Tiger Woods returns to competitive golf after eight months on the sidelines
  • Woods defeats Australian Brendan Jones in the WGC-Accenture Match Play
  • World number one makes one eagle, four birdies and three bogeys in round
  • Woods required reconstructive knee surgery after winning the 2008 U.S. Open
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(CNN) -- Tiger Woods' return to competitive golf proved a successful one with a 3&2 win over Australian outsider Brendan Jones in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.

Woods made a successful return to competitive golf with his win over Brendan Jones on Wednesday.

Woods made a successful return to competitive golf with his win over Brendan Jones on Wednesday.

It was Woods' first tournament since beating the pain barrier to win the U.S. Open last June and spending eight months on the sidelines recovering from reconstructive surgery on a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

The 33-year-old world No. 1 birdied his first hole and later added three more birdies and one eagle. He also had three bogeys.

"It felt like nothing had changed," the defending champion and three-time winner told "Walking down the fairway, it was like business as usual.

"I hit the ball well starting out. Hit a couple of loose irons in the middle part of the round, but other than that, I really hit it pretty good all day."

Woods, who has now had surgery on his left knee three times in the last five years, said it held up well and he had no pain.

"I came back from surgery before, but never this long," Woods said. "And it didn't have quite the same attention."

The match ended on the 16th hole with Woods three strokes ahead, a lead Jones could not overcome in the final two holes at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.


Woods next takes on South Africa's Tim Clark, who beat compatriot Retief Goosen by the same 3&2 scoreline. Meanwhile, world number two Sergio Garcia lost to Charl Schwartzel on the 18th hole after hitting into the bunker and bogeying.

Padraig Harrington, the defending British Open and USPGA Championship winner, also lost on the 18th hole, with Pat Perez getting the better of the Irishman.

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