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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Ben Parsons

Wayward Tiger Woods drive miraculously lands in fan's pocket as icon returns to action

An errant drive from Tiger Woods somehow landed in a fan's pocket during the golf icon's impressive return to action on the PGA Tour.

Woods has shocked golf fans on his first competitive start in seven months at the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles.

The 15-time major champion battled to narrowly make the cut at one-over, but his scintillating third round included an eagle as he shot up the leaderboard with a fine four-under 67 on Saturday.

And the 47-year-old's power off the tee has been particularly astonishing, as he has even managed to blast drives beyond the big-hitting Rory McIlroy, despite being severely impeded with an ankle problem and various other restricting injuries.

But Woods has understandably not been flawless in his first outing since the Open Championship at St Andrews in July.

He discovered his sliced tee-shot on the 13th on Saturday had in fact fallen into a fans pocket after his drive had veered right towards the packed galleries at Riviera.

The seemingly oblivious fan declared that Woods' ball had miraculously managed to end up in his jacket pocket, while engaging a surprise conversation with the legendary sportsman.

The fan in question had no idea how the ball had landed there as he explained to Woods and a rules official where he was stood so it could be determined where a drop should take place.

"I pulled off my jacket and it fell right there. Right here, I haven't moved," the fan exclaimed. The rules official then confirmed Woods' next move as the fan was thanked for his cooperation.

The sport's rules dictate that if a ball is in or on a movable obstruction anywhere other than the green "you may take free relief by lifting your ball, removing the movable obstruction and dropping your original ball or another ball."

Woods received a free drop as the ball was retrieved from the fan's pocket (@PGATOUR/Twitter)

Woods was therefore allowed to take a free drop and was then able to escape from the unusual incident with a par.

Tenacious Woods has shown that his game is back in fine shape during his first three rounds at Riviera.

And his promising scoring has left fans wondering whether he could yet win another tournament during his latest extraordinary comeback - two years on from the horrific car crash that threatened his ability to walk.

He was, however, well adrift of the leaders in Los Angeles, with in-form Jon Rahm three ahead of Max Homa heading into Sunday's final round.

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