Tiger Woods
Woods' return from another back injury was marked with a dismal round in Windermere. Getty Images

Fourteen-time major champion Tiger Woods marked his return to golf with a wretched five-over par round of 77 to leave the former world number one in last place after the first day at the Hero World Challenge at Windermere.

Despite showcasing a new swing in his first competitive appearance since withdrawing from August's USPGA Championship with a recurrence of a back injury, Woods struggled from the outset with four bogeys and one double bogey to leave him in 18<sup>th place after round one.

Woods particularly struggled with his short game, with his chipping and putting undermining progress with his tee shots which the 38-year-old claimed he was hitting pain free having made a full recovery from undergoing back surgery in March 2014.

But that was a rare highlight during a harrowing round for Woods on just his ninth start of the year, and he already trails leader Jordan Spieth (-6) by 11 shots going into the second round on Friday.

"Today, it was weird," said Woods. "I didn't feel like I hit it that bad. My short game was awful, and I didn't make anything. It was one of those days where nothing went my way.

"It certainly is surprising that I could hit chips that poorly, I hit a lot of good shots, I got nothing out of it obviously. Some bad shots, some bad putts.

"I felt comfortable on a lot of the chip shots this week as I was playing practice rounds off the tighter spots. I hit terrible chips and that is something I need to work on when I get home. I've got three days. If I can get under par for tomorrow and hopefully have a good weekend."

Elsewhere, Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell is two shots adrift at -4 while Englishman Justin Rose ended in level par after birdies at 12 and 16 helped recover a round which had included a triple and a double bogey on the front nine.