Grading Tiger's Day 1 performance at Hero World Challenge

Michael deCourcy
Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Social media was melting down Thursday, thanks to Tiger Woods.

Woods returned to competitive action at the Hero World Challenge, displaying some beautiful shots, while also showing some rust en route to a 3-under-par 69.

Here's how the 14-time major champ performed on Day 1 in the Bahamas:

Driver

The tee shot has been Woods' biggest flaw for a long time, as he has a tendency to bank the ball well right of the fairway. Woods opened his round with a fairway hit, blasting it by Justin Thomas by nearly 30 yards - who ranked eighth in driving distance last season.

Woods was pretty comfortable with the driver for most of the day, finding 7-of-13 fairways, but got stuck on his downswing at the par-5 15th, leading to an unplayable penalty and a bogey.

Grade: B+

Iron play

It took just three holes for Woods to scream "Be Good!" at his ball, lacing a 2-iron from 260 yards onto the green at the par-5 third hole. "I put this thing on a rope," Woods told the Golf Channel after the round. Overall, his approach shots were crisp, and his distance control was very good, hitting 11-of-18 greens in regulation.

Grade: B-

Short game

This is the one part of the 41-year-old's game that needs to be cleaned up, with his two flubbed chips at Nos. 4 and 9 as further proof. Woods would save par at the fourth, but made an awful bogey at the ninth. Two holes later, Woods smashed his chip well by the cup, leading to a disappointing par.

Grade: D

Putting

After a couple of cautious strokes to begin the round, the flatstick was pretty solid all day. Woods made some nice par saves - like at the No. 4 - and registered just 27 putts on the greens at Albany, while averaging 1.667 putts per GIR.

Grade: A

Health

The back was fine and that's all that matters. Woods wasn't tentative on any shot Thursday, and swung aggressively when needed. If fans were worried about how his back would hold up, their concerns were quickly put to rest when he unleashed a bomb at the 350-yard par-4 7th.

Grade: A

Overall

This was a promising start for a guy making a return from a 301-day layoff, posting his first sub-70 opening-round score since the 2015 Wyndham. The power, swagger, focus, and intensity were all back, giving fans hope that this Woods comeback is going to be different.

Grade: B

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)