Tiger Woods hits first shots since crash as he prepares for return to golf

• Woods tweets video of ‘sharpest’ shots for first time since crash • Top-ranked golfer has been sidelined since 2015 with back issues

Tiger Woods has posted a video of his first practice swings since a crash on his way to a golf lesson in Florida in February. The seven-time major winner said he felt he was hitting the ball the “sharpest I’ve ever hit” on Tuesday.

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The video, taken at TPC Sawgrass, showed a gap in his front left pin position, a straight drive on the Par-5 eighth hole, the thick rough behind the green and a shot well inside the hole on the short 13th.

“Looking good here at Sawgrass,” Woods, 46, said. “It feels good to be hitting the ball sharpest I’ve ever hit.”

Woods last played competitively in August 2015 when he won at a tournament outside Houston, three months after announcing his fifth back surgery. He has not given details of the reasons for the crash, but admitted he “struggled emotionally”, spending the rest of the year at home in Florida.

“The further away we get from that, the better off I feel,” he said on Tuesday. “The earlier I went to rehab and the sooner I got on the golf course, the better off I feel.”

Woods later posted a photo of himself from his first day of hitting balls on the course. He wrote: “First time I played the Pete Dye monster today”, presumably with its name the Pete Dye Monster, the name of its layout and in red underlined, which is one of the worst suited to Woods’ short game.

He has qualified for this week’s Tour Championship.

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