Woods had already mounted a spirited fightback from a double-bogey at the third - his 12th - with two birdies in three holes before blocking his tee shot to the par-three seventh and leaving himself a tough two-putt from the fringe.
Woods, who also won his eighth Bay Hill crown in 2013, birdied all four par-5 holes and played the rest of the round at level par, two birdies undone by one bad tee shot and a double-bogey disaster.
Woods is seeking a record ninth victory at Bay Hill in just his fifth PGA Tour event since undergoing spinal fusion surgery in April 2017, his fourth back operation in the space of three years.
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"I feel way more comfortable in the tournament setting", Woods said after his round.
The temperature had warmed considerably by the time Paul Goydos began play as part of the first afternoon threesome off No. 10.
The only reason Woods was not sharing the clubhouse lead in his final tuneup for the Masters in three weeks was Jimmy Walker, the 2016 PGA Championship victor.
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Thakur also bowled a peach of an over to pick up two wickets in the last over of the Sri Lankan innings. A ball earlier, he was given benefit of doubt by the umpire for a run out appeal.
"But I understand this golf course".
Tiger Woods catches a ball on the 17th hole during the second round of the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort Copperhead Course March 9, 2018 in Palm Harbor, Florida.
"The narrative has completely flipped and I just wanted to remind you guys that it wasn't that long ago that you were asking a different set of questions and that you need to enjoy it".
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We need some more games. "I think it is a lesson for us for the next time". We dealt well with set-pieces, which is why they could not come back.
Justin Rose was four over through six, but made a brilliant recovery to card a three-under 69.
Grouped with Woods was 2016 Bay Hill victor Jason Day, who struggled to a 73 courtesy of averaging 51 feet from the hole on approach shots. "I've still got to go through the process of getting myself in position".
In November, Goydos was thinking of Reed, 27, when he said he hoped that the younger players would get a chance to square off against Woods at his competitive best. "I can wear red and black again", he said, alluding to his longstanding sartorial choice to copy Woods's final-round colors, "and then we'll just kind of have a battle to see who plays best".
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But I have to play a seed regardless, sooner than later most times for the next couple of tournaments, so I have to be ready. Williams first announced her comeback game on Instagram.
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