Update Tiger Woods score: Struggles off the tee obvious as he posts 76 in return round

Unfortunately for Tiger Woods, PGA Tour rounds are 18 holes long and not 11. Woods played the first 11 holes in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday at 1 under. Then he finished with four bogeys and a double bogey in his final seven holes to shoot 4-over 76 in his first official PGA Tour round in 522 days.
The 76 was the worst season-opening round of his career by two strokes.
The reality here is that it could have been worse. Like, “Greg Eason in the Bahamas” worse. Woods was horrific with his driver on Thursday, hitting just four of 14 fairways. He was 75th of 78 golfers in strokes gained off the tee, though he did finish in the top 25 in putting, and his short game bailed him out over and again — specifically on the front nine where Woods shot a 1-over 37 that felt like it could have been a 45.
His wayward tee shot caught up with him on the back nine with the worst of the bunch coming at the par-4 15th hole. Woods bludgeoned a hook into a canyon so far left off the tee, the Democratic National Convention couldn’t have found it. A drop, two shots and two putts later and Woods was in with his first double bogey of the year.
“I didn’t really hit it that good,” said Woods, who blamed slow play on some of his bad shots. “The greens were a little tough. I had a round I let slip away in the middle part of the back nine. It’s weird to say this, but we were playing — it seems — slower than I’m used to. We played really quick at Hero [World Challenge].
“Hero’s just a little bit slower. It was just weird. Honestly, it was weird waiting that much. I’m not used to doing that at home. I guess we’re flying a little quicker in this. It’s just a different rhythm. We’re out there talking most of the day, just trying to kill time.”
Woods found salvation at the end with a par-bogey-birdie finish to stymie the carnage, but the damage was done for Woods on day one. While it’s true he played the tougher South Course and will have the much easier North Course on Friday, Woods is still 11 back of leader Justin Rose with a game that looks far rustier than we thought going in.

Woods’ swing off the tee looked hung up and at times incredibly stiff. His miss was mostly right but at times, stunningly, left. A ugly, low hook that looked less like Tiger than it did a 10 handicap. He looked like he was trying to force feed his Bridgestone into Torrey’s tough fairways lined by rough as tall and as thick as Ian Woosnam. It didn’t work, and the man whose back has undergone three operations (two of them quite serious) found himself hacking at grass almost all day.
“I was in the rough most of the day,” said Woods. “It was tough. It was wet. The very first hole, I’m like, ‘OK, here we go.’ We got a ball that’s into the grain; not only was it into the grain, it was buried in there and going left-to-right, which was the path I need to take. I’m like, ‘OK, this is the first hole. Let’s not do this anymore.’ I did it most of the day.”
The silver lining for Woods came from his beloved Scotty Cameron putter. Woods looked crisp on putts of 8-12 feet, like a date with an old college girlfriend who had never left his mind. His chipping also looked terrific. Getting up and down on Torrey Pines’ South Course is not a joke, and Woods made it look simple.
So while the round was at times disconcerting and even disorienting, there is hope that if Woods can figure it out off the tee, he can still hang on this tour. His comeback was never going to be completed in a day or even a week, and Torrey is a tough grind to jump back into. Woods will give it a go again on Friday on the North Course as he tries to make the cut and get to the weekend for more of his beloved reps.
“I’m trying to get a feel for it and get a feel for playing,” said Woods. “So much is different. Playing in slower conditions, softer, much softer than what we have at home. It’s much cooler than we have at home. It’s just much different. I’m trying to get used to a little bit of this. I was fighting throughout the day, I just didn’t quite get it done through the middle part of the back nine.
“I fought my tail off out there. I fought hard. It was nice to put together a round when I wasn’t hitting that great early. I was putting together the round. I was 1 under through 11 and in a spot to really shoot a good round today. I didn’t have my best stuff early, but I got through there.”
But even if he doesn’t make the cut and it doesn’t get better this week and he doesn’t “get through there” on Friday, man, it’s just good to see him playing golf again.

Short URL: http://theusatimes.net/?p=77675

Posted by on Jan 27 2017. Filed under Golf. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Photo Gallery

Log in | Designed by theusatimes.net