Tiger Woods 'excited' by chance of Valspar victory

What Tiger Woods said after Round 1 of the Valspar Championship			Jasen Vinlove  USA TODAY Sports

Still, Tiger Woods will tee off on a Sunday in the second-to-last group, just one stroke off the lead. Our eyes could no longer deceive us. Time had not stopped, or heaven forbid, gone in reverse. However, many need to be excited by the fact that a Canadian golfer that nobody had heard of prior to this weekend is battling the great Tiger Woods in a PGA event.

TIGER WOODS REMAINS firmly in the running for a first PGA Tour victory since 2013 after ending round three of the Valspar Championship one shot behind leader Corey Conners.

At last, Tiger Woods has found and demonstrated the consistent excellence that makes his return as a player of championship calibre truly convincing. We're not going to decide things on Saturdays so it's okay to get outside and go do something else. "I've been in this position many times". I've won my share of events. I kind of knew what was going on without even having to see it.

"I keep getting a little bit better here and there, making these little subtle tweaks", said Woods, who was sidelined for all of 2016 before an abortive comeback bid past year.

Predictably, Woods took a slightly more measured approach to the hyperbole that swirled through the cool air on Saturday. Will Rose, Snedeker or somebody else steal the spotlight? "I don't have the same rotation that I used to and I never will again".

"Today was a good day", Woods said. "I played myself right there in contention. "Back to the good ol" days, for sure".

Woods safely negotiated the Snake Pit in level par to ensure he would be part of the penultimate group on Sunday, as Conners made par at the 17th and nudged in from close range at the last to stay in top spot. I was living minute to minute. This is his fourth start back in his comeback. He opened the week ranked 388th in the world rankings, up from 656th at the end of 2017. He's playing a Top-10 nearly every single week he's played (like that) over the last five, six months. He quickly added the Valspar to his schedule, an additional chance to hone his game, and his competitive edge, before Augusta.

"I can confirm he's back".

He drained a putt from 22 feet for birdie at No. 10 underneath an overcast sky similar in color to his dark gray slacks and cap, contrasting Woods' bright pink Nike shirt that helped him stand out in a crowd even more than normal. He was tied for the lead after 10 holes, highlighted by back-to-back birdies on the turn, including a chip-in on No. 9 reminiscent of the Tiger of old.

"I came out and tried to have as much fun as possible", he said.

"I am excited. I feel good", Woods said.

Impressively, Woods displayed an assortment of shots off the tee on Saturday.

Also at 8 under was Brandt Snedeker and Justin Rose.



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