Tiger Woods shoots 69 with new Bridgestone TOUR B XS Golf Ball at 2017 Hero World Challenge
Albany, Bahamas, November 30: Tiger Woods returned to competitive golf Thursday with a 3-under 69 at the Hero World Challenge at the Albany Resort in New Providence Island, Bahamas.
Woods, who is using Bridgestone Golf’s new TOUR BXS golf ball this week, mixed five birdies with two bogeys in his opening round to join 2017 FedExCup champion and PGA TOUR Player of the Year Justin Thomas, in tied eighth position.
Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood carded a bogey-free 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler. Fleetwood, currently in his first season as a member of the PGA TOUR, managed four birdies on the front nine and two on the return leg on his maiden appearance at the Hero World Challenge.
In 23 official PGA TOUR events, Fleetwood’s only lead after a round came at the 2017 U.S. Open when he shared the second-round lead with Paul Casey, Brian Harman and Brooks Koepka en route to a fourth-place finish.
2014 Hero World Challenge champion Jordan Spieth (T4) opened with a 4-under 68. He won in 2014 by a record 10 strokes over Henrik Stenson with a tournament-record 26-under 262, becoming the first player to win the event in wire-to-wire fashion.
Henrik Stenson (T12), with wife Emma on his bag, recorded a 2-under 70. In four prior starts at the Hero World Challenge, Stenson has finished inside the top five, including runner-up finishes in his last two starts (2014, 2016).
Meanwhile, defending Hero World challenge champion Hideki Matsuyama (T14) turned in a 1-under 71 (which included four consecutive birdies on Nos. 14-17) as he begins his bid to join Tiger Woods (2006-07) as the only players to win this event in back-to-back seasons. This week marks Matsuyama’s fourth start at the Hero World Challenge (13/2014, T17/2015, 1/2016).
Woods had previously played the Tour B330-S and made the switch for the Hero World Challenge following rigorous testing, during which it was determined the XS provided optimal distance, control, and consistency. These gains are the result of a softer urethane cover, enhanced aerodynamics and improved 330 Dual Dimple design.
“I am more confident in the performance of the TOUR B XS than any other ball I have ever played,” said Tiger Woods. “It is incredibly long off the tee, while offering excellent feel and spin around the green. The consistency it provides gives me complete confidence that I can hit any shot the situation calls for.”
“Tiger is easily one of the most discerning players in the world and only makes equipment changes when he sees a true performance benefit,” said Angel Ilagan, Bridgestone Golf President and CEO. “Just like Tiger went through the fitting process to find the ball that best suits his game, we strongly encourage amateurs to get fit and identify the Bridgestone model that will help them optimize their own performance.”
The TOUR B Series includes four models – X, XS, RX and RXS (each $44.99) – and represents Bridgestone’s most technologically advanced golf balls to date. Using data from more than 3 million in-person and online ball fittings, combined with insights from leading third-party industry sources, Bridgestoneidentified the needs of specific player types and drew on more than 1,000 golf ball patents to determine which of its proprietary technologies would most benefit each.
Each model features the proven characteristics that have made Bridgestone Golf among the most respected names in the industry. The benefits of these features include:
Accuracy – Gradational core provides optimal energy transfer to create low side-spin and high ball velocity for incredible distance and accuracy gains
Consistency – Seamless cover design utilizes injection molding technology to stabilize ball flight on all shots
Distance – Aerodynamically superior dimple profiles provide different player types with vastly enhanced length and control
Feel – SlipRes cover technology increases friction by creating more stability between the ball and club for enhanced control with irons and wedges
2017 Hero World Challenge First-Round Leaderboard
Tommy Fleetwood 66 (-6)
Matt Kuchar 67 (-5)
Rickie Fowler 67 (-5)
Jordan Spieth 68 (-4)
Dustin Johnson 68 (-4)
Justin Rose 68 (-4)
Kevin Chappell 68 (-4)
Tiger Woods 69 (-3)
Justin Thomas 69 (-3)