Tiger Woods lies eight off the lead after Phoenix Open first round

Tiger Woods
Woods was tied last in his last outing at the Hero World Challenge in December
Waste Management Phoenix Open first round leaderboard
-7 R Palmer (US); -6 K Bradley (US), B Watson (US), D Berger (US) after 16 holes; -5 M Laird (Sco), Z Johnson (US), R Streb (US), B Martin (US) Selected others: -3 J Donaldson (Wal); -2 P Mickelson (US), R Knox (Sco); -1 R Allenby (Aus); Evens P Harrington (Ire): +2 T Woods (US)

Tiger Woods struggled to a two-over-par 73 in the opening round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Thursday in his first PGA Tour event of the season.

The former world number one was five over after 12 holes before an eagle on the 13th helped him finish eight shots behind leader Ryan Palmer.

Scotland's Martin Laird is tied fifth on five under, while Jamie Donaldson of Wales in three under.

Woods, 39, missed much of last season after undergoing back surgery in March.

Australian Robert Allenby, playing his first round since he claimed to have been kidnapped, assaulted and robbed after missing the cut in the Sony Open in Honolulu, shot a one-under-par 70.

"I was a little bit nervous going into 16," said Allenby, referring to the par-three hole which is surrounded by stands full of spectators who boo poor shots on the relatively easy hole.

"I wasn't really sure what to expect. But I just knew it was going to be loud. There was nothing mean at all. I think some of the comments were actually pretty funny."

Robert Allenby
Police are investigating Allenby's claim that he was kidnapped in Hawaii. No arrests have been made

Woods, a 14-time major winner, sprayed his drives, under-hit several approaches and was frustrated after mis-hitting a couple of chip shots from just off the green at the TPC in Scottsdale.

He recorded four bogeys and a double-bogey in his first 11 holes, but the highlight of his round was an eagle at the par-five 13th where he struck a four iron from 226 yards to within a foot of the pin.

"I saw a lot of balls go to the right, then I started to fix it on the back nine," said the American - who has been working with new consultant Chris Como.

"It was just about trying to be so committed to the swing change and do it.

"I just need tournament rounds like this where I can fight, fight through it, turn it around, grind through it and make adjustments on the fly."

Major champions Keegan Bradley and Bubba Watson share second place at six under. They were joined by Daniel Berger, who completed 16 holes of round one before the light faded and play was suspended.

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