Woods confirms comeback with second round 68

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Woods, making his first start since withdrawing from the Dubai Desert Classic in February, went out in 35 shots with two birdies and a bogey, before returning in 34 shots with three birdies and a bogey.

"I proved that the surgery was successful", Woods told the Golf Channel in a post-round interview.

If the 41-year-old had stirred the memory bank with his first-round 69, then with three birdies in his first four holes, he switched on the mixer and made all the high-points of his career suddenly pour over back into the consciousness.

Woods, playing for the first time in 10 months because of his fourth back surgery, was tied for fifth.

The 14-time major victor subsequently underwent spinal fusion surgery in April, his fourth back operation in the space of three years, and began the week a 40/1 outsider in the 18-man field.

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Englishman Justin Rose is alone in fourth at 8 under after a second consecutive 4-under 68, one shot ahead of a group that includes Woods, Matsuyama, Francesco Molinari, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler. The next hole is par-five.

Putting was a problem for Woods as he was surprised by the quickness of the surface. "That's going to take time, a lot more practice, a lot more training and more tournaments".

On the back nine, he picked up three more birdies before a bogey on the 15th pegged him back again. As you can see, even with the fused back, I still have some speed out there and these are all things I've had to learn and will continue to learn. I really did struggle getting the speed and I blew majority well past the hole and made a few coming back.

"I had a hard time all day with my speed on the greens - they seemed to be about a foot faster".

"I didn't know what to expect, because I hadn't played".