SAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods completed 72 holes on the PGA Tour for the first time in more than two years, and he did so without pain.
That he did so without shooting over par and while finishing among the top 30 were added bonuses.
"I think it was all very positive,'' Woods said after shooting even-par 72 at Torrey Pines' South course. "The big concern was playing out of the rough. I haven't played out of rye grass since last year -- 12 full months. I wasn't sure what I was able to do. I hit some shots, very happy about that. Unfortunately, I put myself in there. Overall, I'm very happy the way I was able to fight out the scores.
"These weren't yawners -- down the middle, on the green, miss the first one, one-hand the second. These were grinds. I fought hard. It's nice to see I'm able to still grind.''
Woods finished tied for 23rd place at 285, 3 under par and seven strokes out of a playoff, and he viewed all of that as positive after he endured four back surgeries in the past four years. The latest spinal fusion surgery in April kept him from swinging a club for six months.
This was only Woods' fifth worldwide start since the 2015 Wyndam Championship, in which he tied for 10th. Two of those were at the unofficial Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, where last month he shot three rounds in the 60s and tied for ninth.
"He felt good,'' said Woods' caddie, Joe LaCava. "Ninety holes over five days in a row. I know he did that in the Bahamas, but those were three and a half hours, and now we're playing five-hour rounds. That makes a difference because you're adding about seven, eight hours on your feet, playing golf, thinking about what to hit and hitting shots. So I'm glad he got through that.
"Actually, it's 99 holes with the practice round on Tuesday. So going forward, I'm not saying health isn't going to be an issue, but it certainly looks better than it has.''
Like Saturday, Woods found just three of 14 fairways during the final round. On Sunday, he hit only one over the final nine holes. For the tournament, he hit just 17 of 56 fairways -- the fewest he has hit in a PGA Tour event in which he played four rounds. The previous worst was 20 at the 2004 Tour Championship.
He hit 12 of 18 greens during the final round, 42 out of 72 for the week, and he got up and down 19 of the 30 times he missed a green. It is just the third time since Woods' win at the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational -- his 79th and last PGA Tour victory -- that he shot all four rounds at par or better.
"I'm going to go back and work on a bunch of things,'' he said. "I can feel some of the things I'm doing wrong in my swing, so we're going to go back to work. It's nice to have two weeks off, but it's more important that I got this tournament under my belt where I can feel some of the things I need to work on because hometown speed versus game speed is two totally different things. As much as we try to simulate it at home, it's never the same.''
So far, Woods has committed to only the Genesis Open at Riviera, which begins Feb. 15. He is expected to play the Honda Classic the following week near his home in South Florida, based on his ability to play consecutive tournaments. Then he would also be likely to play the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
"I'll go back home and kind of reassess where I'm at and keeping doing that,'' he said. "These are things I honestly can't tell you. 'Yeah, I'm going to play five tournaments in a row.' I don't know what my body can do yet. I'm still learning it.''