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Tiger Woods returned to action and here’s how he fared during a tough first round

Tiger Woods returned to action and here's how he fared during a tough first round
Written by admin_3fxxacau

All the attention on the first day of the PGA Championship was going to be on the group of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. It was the most important group of the day, the most powerful on the property.

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While McIlroy put on a show – filming 5 years under 65 – the star of stars is still Woods. And given that this is only his second occurrence since a single-car crash in February 2021 that nearly cost him his right leg, the questions remain: how will he cope? And would the leg hold?

Woods struggled to fight his way to a first-round 74, putting him 9 shots behind McIlroy. Here’s how it went:

No. 10: Par 4, 376 yards

There are still 71 holes to go, but Woods’ first PGA Championship hole couldn’t have gone better. He struck out a 3-wood from 339 yards, which, of course, was accompanied by a club whirlwind.

He then perfectly executed a small corner of 95 meters at 3 feet. This putt was right in the center and he started his tour around the Southern Hills with a perfect birdie.

Rating: Birdie

Total: 1 penny

No. 11: Par 3, 173 yards

Woods took a conservative approach on his second hole of the day, hitting a solid 8-iron to the middle of the green. He delayed his birdie putt to the kicking range. Two holes and no drama so far.

Score: normal

Total: 1 penny

No. 12: Par 4, 461 yards

The stinger made his first appearance at this PGA Championship. Woods drilled a low iron off the tee. Meanwhile, Spieth and McIlroy punched pilots. The difference? Woods’ tee shot traveled 273 yards; Spieth hammered his 328 yards and McIlroy hammered his 354 yards. From 195 yards, Woods controlled a perfect approach that never left the flag. Woods slammed his 20-footer for a birdie on the break and had to settle for par.

Score: normal

Total: 1 penny

No. 13: Par 5, 632 yards

Woods’ first rider of the day looked as slick as all the swings that came before it. Woods drops a 353 yards down the left side. Again, however, he sat well behind the tee shots of Spieth and McIlroy, who both tried to get home in twos at par-5. Woods lay at a comfortable distance – he had 85 yards on his third shot – then made a huge mistake. He airmailed a small wedge—virtually the same shot he stuffed on the first hole—into the back bunker.

Woods reached par with a perfect bunker shot. But given where he was after 2 shots, it was more stress than he liked in the 13th.

Score: normal

Total: 1 penny

No. 14: Par 3, 230 yards

During a long wait off the tee, Woods finished a big sandwich that had social media buzzing.

Once the wait was over and the late breakfast was over, Woods got up and hit another crisp iron. He rolled home the 13-footer for his second birdie of the round. However, he is not the best player in his group. McIlroy dropped a 25-footer for his third straight birdie.

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0:19

Tiger Woods drops to 2 under par with a long birdie putt on hole 14.

Rating: Birdie

Total: 2 pennies

No. 15: Par 4, 417 yards

Nothing about that hole went well for Woods. He tried to hit another stinger off the tee, but this one fled straight into the rough. The second shot landed in the front bunker. The breath of the sand has sailed far too far. Two putts later and Woods walked away with his first bogey of the tournament. Meanwhile, McIlroy’s heat continued with a fourth straight birdie.

Result: Bogey

Total: 1 penny

No. 16: Par 4, 522 yards

Woods always made sure to think his way around a golf course, especially during major championships. He knew what he was doing with his tee shot on the 16th, hitting a soft cut that came to rest just yards from the fairway bunker. From there, he hit a safe iron to the middle of the green and putt two for a par at the monstrously long par-4.

Score: normal

Total: 1 penny

No. 17: Par 4, 371 yards

Sure, the 17 is the shortest par-4 on the course, but it caught the players’ attention. Why? The wind picked up. “It’s as strong as it gets,” McIlroy told caddie Harry Diamond. Woods, after a sure stinger from the tee, had just 113 yards left to play. Normally he would have been disappointed with what happened – a wedge that settled on the fringe, 15 feet from the hole. But with this wind, this approach was good. One more revolution and the birdie putt would have dropped. Instead, he sat right next to it.

Score: normal

Total: 1 penny

No. 18: Par 4, 491 yards

Another good drive from Woods. But he was not happy with his second shot. Almost instantly after impact, he angrily swung his club back and slammed it into the ground. He knew what was coming. The approach pull hook jumped into the back bunker. To make matters worse – much worse – Woods appeared to be limping more than he had all day as he made his way to the last green on that side. He hit a dodgy bunker shot and walked away with a bogey for an even front nine. But now all the attention is on his health and how that surgically repaired leg will hold up.

Result: Bogey

Total: even

No. 1: Par 4, 451 yards

Woods’ back nine didn’t start well. It’s never good when a tee shot comes to rest just behind a tree. Having no other choice, he couldn’t even try to hit the green. He stopped short and went, then hit an OK pitch into the green. But the end result was a second consecutive bogey and a third in five holes. As strong as he seemed at first, Woods’ game began to wane as he deepened in his opening round. Moreover, he heads for the second hole, his 11th of the day, 5 shots behind McIlroy, who is the leader.

Result: Bogey

Total: 1 more

No. 2: Par 4, 480 yards

There are two distinct things going on in this group: McIlroy is hot; The woods are withering. McIlroy rolled in another birdie, his fifth of the day, while Woods ran his birdie putt a mile away 10 feet past the hole. Woods couldn’t convert and it was yet another bogey, his third in a row.

Result: Bogey

Total: 2 more

No. 3: Par 4, 444 yards

With just about everything going wrong, Woods desperately needed something good to happen. And it finally happened. He split the fairway with his tee shot. The approach shot was even better. He controlled the trajectory and spin with the swirling wind, and the ball settled 4 feet from the hole.

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0:18

The beautiful stroke of Tiger Woods allows him to finish with a birdie on the third hole of the PGA Championship.

Rating: Birdie

Total: 1 more

No. 4: Par 4, 377 yards

Woods missed the fairway with an iron; McIlroy hit the middle of the fairway with a driver. Woods had 148 yards to play on his second shot; McIlroy had 43 yards. Woods found the green side bunker with his approach; McIlroy spun a low corner at 10 feet. Woods hit a horrible bunker shot that didn’t hold the green; McIlroy two putts. Woods did bogey; McIlroy walked away with par.

Result: Bogey

Total: 2 more

No. 5: Par 5, 656 yards

Hey, a peer! No big deal, right? Except the final result in the fifth marked the first par for Woods in six holes. It had been a series of bogeys and birdies dating back to the 17th, Woods’ eighth hole of the day. While most pros go for a par-5 chasing a birdie, at 656 yards, this one won’t pay as much as other par-5s the pros play. Side note: McIlroy birdied – another.

Score: normal

Total: 2 more

No. 6: Par 3, 226 yards

Woods took a surprisingly aggressive line off the tee. Few balls ended up to the left of the location of the hole. Although his speed was good on the greens all day, his birdie putt from the fringe was 2 feet short. Biggest news: McIlroy made his first bogey.

Score: normal

Total: 2 more

No. 7: Par 4, 443 yards

It could have been bad – and it has nothing to do with Woods nearly making another bogey before saving the par. His tee shot went well, well to the right. Since he was so far from the tee, he ended up in the rough closest to the adjacent fairway. As he weighed his options, he nearly got hit by a tee shot coming his way. He flinched as the ball passed in front of him and settled a few feet away.

Score: normal

Total: 2 more

No. 8: Par 3, 220 yards

Woods started to walk a little slower, with a more pronounced limp while turning. But after hitting his tee shot in the eighth, there was no hiding the pain. He grimaced. He was still limping. The ball ended up in the bunker. He hit another gruesome bunker shot – it was a theme throughout his first round – and made another bogey.

Result: Bogey

Total: 3 out of

No. 9: Par 4, 395 yards

Woods hit another bad shot. And once again he favored his leg after he finished. His approach to his last green of the day sailed long. His chip did not reach the green. The moment he finished, he posted a bogey.

Result: Bogey

Total: 4 out of 74


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