Tiger Woods admits he needs to improve after 'long and slow' first day at The Open

Tiger Woods' return to The Open couldn't have gone much worse, with the 46-year-old carding 78 in his opening round at St Andrews.

Seeing Tiger Woods return to action for the 150th Open was a breath of fresh air for everyone involved, but the American star didn't hit the ground running at St Andrews.

The three-time Open champion has enjoyed so much success here in the past, but Woods struggled throughout the opening day, specifically with his putting.

The 46-year-old took six hours and eight minutes to complete his opening round of 78, which left him at the back of the pack.

Despite carding three birdies, Woods hit five bogeys and two double-bogeys during Thursday's action, giving him plenty of work to do over the next few days.

"Probably highest score as I could have shot," the 46-year-old said. "Hit a good tee shot down one, ended up right in the middle of a fresh divot and I hit a good shot. Wind gusts hit it and ended up in the burn, and start off with a double.

"I think I had maybe four or five three-putts today. Just wasn't very good on the greens. And every putt I left short. I struggled with hitting the putts hard enough.

"The greens were very firm but slow and it's an interesting combo. And we weren't exactly speed demons out there either. The whole round took a long time, and we were getting waved up. And it was a long, slow day."

Woods praised the unwavering support of the crowds and admitted it was "very, very meaningful" to be able to play the Old Course once more following the severe injuries he suffered in a car accident in February last year.

"All things considered, where I've been, I was hoping I could play this event this year," he added.

"Looking at it at the beginning of the year, end of last year, when I was rehabbing, trying to see if I could do it, somehow I was able to play two of the major championships in between then and now, which was great.

"But this was always on the calendar to hopefully be well enough to play it. And I am. And just didn't do a very good job of it.

"Looks like I'm going to have to shoot 66 tomorrow to have a chance (to make the cut). Obviously it has been done, guys did it today, and that's my responsibility tomorrow is to go ahead and do it. Need to do it."

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