Golf News: Tiger Woods struggles to a 77 as Xander Schauffele takes the lead at Adare Manor

Golf News: Tiger Woods struggles to a 77 as Xander Schauffele takes the lead at Adare Manor

Golf News: Xander Schauffele leads the JP McManus Pro-Am by three shots heading into the final round, while Tiger Woods struggled in his return to action at Adare Manor.

Schauffele fired eight birdies in a bogey-free start to the 36-hole event, raising money for Irish charities, with an eight-under 64 giving him a commanding lead in the star-studded event.

The closest challenger to the Olympic gold medalist is Rickie Fowler, who opened with a bogey-free 67, while England’s Tyrrell Hatton is four strokes back in third, ahead of the group on three-under that includes Irish duo Shane Lowry and Seamus Power.

Rory McIlroy shot a first-round 71, while Tiger Woods struggled to a five-over 77 in his first competitive appearance since withdrawing from the PGA Championship in May.

Woods, who used a golf cart to move between holes as he continues to recover from injuries sustained in a car accident last February, double-bogeyed the par-four second and followed another dropped shot at the fifth with consecutive bogeys from the eighth to finish with a front-nine 41.

A birdie at the tenth was cancelled out by a dropped shot at the next, and a brilliant chip-in eagle off the 12th green was undone by bogeys at the 13th and 17th, leaving him 13 strokes behind Schauffele.

Beginning on the back nine, Schauffele took advantage of the par-five 18th to reach the turn in 33, before making further gains at the first and third.

Schauffele’s birdie barrage continued with a hat-trick of gains from the fifth, with pars over the final two holes completing a blemish-free opening round and setting the Adare Manor course record.

Hatton’s eagle and two birdies over his final four holes helped him to a four-under 68, while Power finished with three birdies and Lowry birdied the last to join Brandon Stone and Brooks Koepka on three under.

McIlroy birdied the eighth and produced a remarkable save from the pine straw after a wayward drive at the 13th, before rolling in a birdie at the 15th but falling seven behind when he failed to get up and down from off the 17th green.

Bryson DeChambeau salvaged a level-par 72 after being six over with eight holes to play after four birdies in a five-hole stretch, with Justin Thomas, Leona Maguire, and Paul Casey also on that total.

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