Tiger Woods pays tribute to Kobe Bryant with eerie shot on opening hole

Tiger Woods arrived at the Genesis Open at the Riviera Golf Course in Los Angeles determined to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant.

At the end of the opening round the former world number one sat in equal 17th on the leaderboard after registering a -2.

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But it was how Woods’ round got underway that really stuck with fans and commentators.

In an eerie coincidence, Woods carded an eagle on his first hole of the round, the par-5 first, when he sank a putt that was 24 feet, eight inches in length — Kobe Bryant’s two numbers from his playing days with the Lakers.

“It’s ironic having those two numbers,’’ Woods said after the first round.

“It was a nice way to start. I didn’t know about the putt being that long. And then (on) No. 8, (I) happened to hit one in there close and had a nice little kick-in there for birdie.

“No matter what we do, I think for a while we’re going to always remember Kobe and what he meant, and especially here in SoCal and the entire sports world.”

The Tour is paying tribute Bryant with a special flag on the eighth hole and a gold number eight on the fairway leading up to the green.

Woods delivered another tribute to Bryant after picking his ball up out of the hole by flicking it to his caddy and holding the pose like a basketball shot.

Woods trails first-round leader Matt Kuchar by five strokes.

“It was a fun, fun day out there,’‘ said Kuchar, who leads by three. “I got off to a great start. This is the best I’ve ever seen (Riviera CC). “It’s a place that I absolutely love coming every year.

“I think it’s one of the few courses that has truly stood the test of time.” Kuchar’s nearest chasers are KH Lee, Russell Henley, Adam Schenk, Wyndham Clark and Harold Varner (67) at four under.

Jason Day leads the Australian tilt after a 68 left him a three under.

with Mark Cannizzaro, NY Post

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