AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods was in control for most of Thursday’s round at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but three mistakes on his inward nine proved costly in a even-par 70 that left him seven shots behind leader Jim Furyk.
Woods sat at 3 under thru 12 holes, but a two-putt bogey from 4 feet at No. 13 and a bad bogey at the par-5 16th hole sent Woods backward and off the top part of the leaderboard. A horrible three-putt at the 18th hole sent him into a tie for 32nd.
Tiger had a dismal 33 putts on Thursday.
Woods tees off at 10 a.m. on Friday morning as he tries to cut into his seven-shot deficit.
See how his round unfolded on Thursday.
• • •
No. 18, Par 4, 464 yards
Tiger has played solid today, but could use a birdie here to get within five shots of Jim Furyk.
• Off the tee: Tiger pulls driver and hammers it up the right side, where it finds the rough and will need to keep his shot low from just over 120 yards from under a tree.
• Approach shot: After taking a free drop from a drain, Tiger plays a very nice shot that runs up the fairway and onto the green, about 20 feet under the hole.
• On the green: Indicative of the rest of his day, Tiger gives it a great run, but runs past on the right and taps in for a par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 18 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Jim Furyk bounces right back with birdie on the par-4 eighth hole. Then on No. 9, he leaves his approach about 50 yards short, but chips to about a foot. He taps in to end his round at 7 under, two shots ahead of Lee Slattery.
• • •
No. 17, Par 4, 400 yards
It is still shocking to see Tiger bogey any par 5, but that errant tee shot at No. 16 proved to be too costly. With Jim Furyk moving back to 7 under, Tiger needs to be thinking about at least one birdie coming in to try and stay in striking distance.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes iron off the tee and plays a stinger down the middle of the fairway and he should be able to attack the green from around 150 yards.
• Approach shot: Tiger attacks the back pin, flying it just past and it runs off into the intermediate cut of rough, where he’ll have 15 feet for birdie.
• Around the green: Tiger uses 6-iron to putt from the rough and leaves it about a foot short and taps in for a par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 17 holes)
• • •
No. 16, Par 5, 667 yards
That birdie miss on No. 15 will sting a bit after a beautiful tee ball. Now he moves to a long par 5 that takes three good shots to get to.
• Off the tee: Tiger doesn’t like his tee ball immediately, and it heads far right and he’ll have to just get it back out to the fairway and set up a long third shot into the green.
• Second shot: Tiger has to keep this shot low and hope that it runs up the fairway, but he comes up a bit and leaves himself about 250 yards into the green from the middle of the fairway.
• Third shot: Tiger chooses to lay up with water lining the front of the green and leaves himself a wedge into the green.
• Fourth shot: Tiger is visibly upset after a chip that comes up about 15 feet short on the green. He’ll have that for par.
• On the green: Tiger misses the par attempt under the hole and he taps in for a bogey. His two early birdies on the back nine are now erased.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 16 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Jim Furyk had his first miscue since a bogey on his third hole of the day, missing about a 6-footer for par on the par-3 seventh to drop back to 6 under. Despite his second bogey, Furyk still has the lead with two holes to play.
• • •
No. 15, Par 3, 221 yards
Tiger has been fantastic off the tee on Thursday and accurate with his irons, but his putter is letting him down. On 14, he simply just misread the pace of a realistic birdie putt.
• Off the tee: With 6-iron in hand, Tiger starts walking after his ball moments after impact, and for good reason, as it lands just under the hole and rolls out to pin-high and about 9 feet to the left of the hole.
• On the green: Tiger doesn’t read enough break from left-to-right and the birdie putt runs by on the right, tapping in for another par. That was a wasted opportunity late in his first round.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 15 holes)
• • •
No. 14, Par 4, 467 yards
Jim Furyk has moved to 7 under, two clear of Lee Slattery and five ahead of Tiger Woods.
• Off the tee: Tiger splits another fairway, using 3-wood and stays out of any trouble with the bunkers lining the fairway on both sides.
• Approach shot: With just over 165 yards left to the flag, Tiger flies it over the flag and will have about 20 feet for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger doesn’t play enough left-to-right break and it slides under the hole and he taps in for another par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 14 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rory McIlroy has fought back to even after a birdie on the par-3 15th. McIlroy drained about an 8-foot putt for his third birdie of the day. He began his day with bogeys on Nos. 1, 2 and 4.
• • •
No. 13, Par 4, 471 yards
Tiger has hit 11 of 12 greens in regulation thus far on Thursday, while also hitting 7 of 10 fairways.
• Off the tee: A left-to-right dogleg, Tiger takes driver and hammers it up the left side of the fairway and should be able to attack the back-right pin.
• Approach shot: Tiger chooses to take sand wedge from just under 140 yards and comes up about a yard short of hitting the green, but instead finds greenside rough and will need to get up-and-down for par.
• Around the green: Tiger hits out of the rough and puts it about 3 feet past the hole. Tiger doesn’t seem happy with the shot, but is probably as good as he could have played it.
• On the green: Facing his longest part putt of the day, Tiger misses it left and picks up his first bogey of the day.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 13 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rafael Cabrera-Bello finished his round with bogey on No. 18 after finding trouble off the tee and needing three shots to get on the green. He is 4 under, two back of leader Jim Furyk, who just stuck his approach shot to about 4 feet on No. 4.
• • •
No. 12, Par 3, 180 yards
Tiger performed surgery on the past two holes, using his stinger to put himself in nice position, and then attacked both holes from the fairway, something he didn’t do on the front nine.
• Off the tee: Tiger poses over his tee ball, and it lands hole-high and runs out to about 15 feet for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger doesn’t hit it firm enough and it runs out to about 18 inches to the right and he taps in for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 12 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: The par-5 second has provided a few eagles already today. Most recently, it was Jim Furyk taking advantage of the hole in a big way. Furyk’s eagle pushed him into sole possession of the lead at 6 under. Furyk is 5 under in his last five holes.
• • •
No. 11, Par 4, 418 yards
That birdie could get Tiger going as he moves to another short par 4.
• Off the tee: With no need to use his driver, Tiger pulls 3-wood and plays a low-liner up the middle of the fairway and should be looking at wedge again into the green.
• Approach shot: From about 145 yards, Tiger attacks the pin and lands about pin-high and sticks it to about 6 feet to the right of the hole, setting up another chance at birdie.
• On the green: Tiger gives it a firm rap and puts it in the center of the cup to move within two shots of the lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 11 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Lee Slattery, John Senden and Rafael Cabrera-Bello remain tied atop the leaderboard at 5 under. Slattery, who has a stretch of four birdies on Nos. 1-4, and Cabrera-Bello, who has yet to make a bogey, have two holes remaining in their first rounds. Senden is through 14 holes.
• • •
No. 10, Par 4, 410 yards
While he is in the red at 1 under, Tiger Woods will not be happy about that opening nine, missing three birdie tries inside 15 feet. He hit 5 of 8 fairways and 8 of 9 greens, but had 17 putts.
• Off the tee: With a 3-wood in hand, Tiger smokes a stinger down the right side of the fairway and will have a nice look at the green.
• Approach shot: From just over 100 yards, Tiger uses a three-quarters swing with wedge and will have about 8 feet for birdie from right of the cup.
• On the green: Tiger knocks this one in and starts the back nine on a nice note, moving to within three shots of the lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 10 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Jim Furyk has also played 10 holes and is 4 under on his round, while Simon Dyson has fallen out of a tie for the lead with a bogey at No. 7 to fall back to 4 under.
• • •
No. 9, Par 4, 494 yards
Lee Slattery has joined Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Simon Dyson at 5 under, with Tiger sitting four back as he nears the turn. Tiger has 15 putts through 8 holes.
• Off the tee: With driver in hand again at the lengthy par 4, Tiger smacks it up the middle of the fairway and it takes a big hop to the right at impact, running into the intermediate cut of rough.
• Approach shot: From just over 170 yards, Tiger takes 8-iron and plays a nice shot just past the flag and he’ll have about 10 feet for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger reads too much break from the right and he two-putts for another disappointing par. Tiger is not happy with his putter as he makes the turn.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 9 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: John Senden joins the leaders with a birdie at No. 13.
• • •
No. 8, Par 4, 482 yards
With Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Simon Dyson at 5 under, Tiger is sitting four shots off the lead.
• Off the tee: Tiger pulls driver again, but pushes it a bit right and finds the rough for the second time in the opening eight holes.
• Approach shot: Tiger has no tree trouble on this shot and lands it pin-high and rolls to about 25 feet past the hole.
• On the green: Putting from long distance, Tiger puts nice pace on it, but misses to the left and taps in for par from about 1 foot.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 8 holes)
• • •
No. 7, Par 3, 219 yards
Tiger seems to be struggling with the pace of these greens, but his two-putts are for par.
• Off the tee: Tiger misses his first green of the day, finding a greenside bunker to the right.
• Around the green: Tiger plays a beautiful sand shot to about 2 feet to the left of the hole.
• On the green: Tiger gets up-and-down for par, a nice save to stay in the red.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 7 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rafael Cabrera-Bello just took the lead, sinking a right-to left, downhill 15-footer for birdie at the par-4 third. He moves to 5 under.
• • •
No. 6, Par 4, 469 yards
Tiger’s putting is costing him a chance to take control of this tournament early, two-putting each green thus far.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes driver again and misses his first fairway of the day, sending it up the right side and finding a dry patch in the rough. He’ll likely have a wedge or 9-iron into the green.
• Approach shot: With about 150 yards to the flag, Tiger finds a tough lie, but is able to dig it out and still get it to the green, hitting the left side and funneling to about 40 feet above the flag.
• On the green: Putting from long distance, Tiger finds a nice line, but sends it about 3 feet past on the left. He drains that for a fifth par on the day.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 6 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: John Senden and Rafael Cabrera-Bello have made it a five-way tie for the lead at 4 under. Senden just made a 5-footer for birdie on the par-4 ninth hole – his fourth birdie of the day – while Cabrera-Bello made his fourth birdie of the day, his latest coming at the par-5 second hole. Meanwhile, Louis Oosthuizen has dropped back to 2 under after a bogey at the par-3 seventh. Oosthuizen found the right greenside bunker and then ran his second shot about 10 feet past the hole. He would miss the par putt. Also, Graeme McDowell just calmly rolled in a short birdie on the par-4 fourth to move to 2 under.
• • •
No. 5, Par 3, 200 yards
Tiger looks very comfortable at Firestone, especially with driver and 3-wood in hand. He’ll need to attack more flags if he wants to put some pressure on the leaders.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes a mid-iron and flights it beautifully, landing in the middle of the green and funneling to about 8 feet under the hole.
• On the green: But Tiger can’t convert on this ideal birdie chance, going over the lip on the right and running about 2 feet past. He knocks that in for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 5 holes)
• • •
No. 4, Par 4, 471 yards
Tiger is perfect on fairways and greens, and has missed opening with three birdies by a matter of a couple of inches.
• Off the tee: Tiger hammers another driver, sending this one up the left side of the fairway. He is 4-for-4 on fairways, and has used two big drivers to set up easier approaches. That drive was 343 yards.
• Approach shot: After that monster tee ball, Tiger has only about 125 yards left to the flag and takes wedge and lands it about 20 feet under the hole. He’s being a bit conservative with his approach shots.
• On the green: Tiger gives his birdie attempt nice pace, but it stays left and he taps in for another par. The fourth hole is playing as Firestone’s toughest on Thursday.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 4 holes)
• • •
No. 3, Par 4, 442 yards
That birdie at No. 2 was set up by a brilliant tee ball that left a short iron into a par 5. Could be a sign of things to come.
• Off the tee: Teeing off looking downhill, Tiger takes 3-wood and sends it up the right side of the fairway. He is 3-for-3 in fairways hit.
• Approach shot: With water in front of the green, Tiger has about 135 yards left to the green and delicately puts it about 16 feet past the flag.
• On the green: Tiger finds the right line, but it comes up about five inches short and he frustratingly taps in for a par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 3 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Louis Oosthuizen has started off strong. He’s 3 under through three holes thanks to an eagle on the par-5 second hole and a birdie on the par-4 third. He’s just one shot off the lead, which is shared by Bubba Watson, Ben Crane and Luke Donald, all of whom are in the clubhouse at 4 under.
• • •
No. 2, Par 5, 526 yards
After a very methodic first hole, Tiger will take out driver for the first time.
• Off the tee: And he pummels it. With driver, he sends it up the left side of the fairway to the tune of 338 yards and he’ll have about 180 yards into the green on his second shot.
• Second shot: With 8-iron, Tiger takes it high into the air and puts it about 30 feet under the hole, which he’ll have for eagle.
• On the green: His eagle attempt comes up about 18 inches short and he taps in for an easy birdie.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 2 holes)
• • •
No. 1, Par 4, 399 yards
Tiger won’t be able to take iron after iron off the tee this week, with driver a necessity on many of these holes. Tiger is wearing beige pants with a white shirt and white hat as temperatures rise at Firestone CC.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes 3-wood and hammers it up the left side of the fairway and he should have either 9-iron or wedge into the green.
• Approach shot: With less than 120 yards into the flag, Tiger goes hole-hunting and flies it just right of the hole and about 12 feet past.
• On the green: Tiger has a good look at birdie from behind the hole, but misses just right and he two-putts for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 1 hole)
• • •
Update #1: 1:27 p.m. EDT
Luke Donald might be heating up at the right time of year, holding a 2-shot lead through 16 holes at Bridgestone over seven others. Donald is coming off a top-8 finish at the Open Championship. Donald, who started on the back nine, opened his round with three consecutive birdies, and has made birdies on his past two holes.
Donald is one clear of Retief Goosen, K.T. Kim, Bill Haas and Carl Pettersson – all in the clubhouse at 3 under – while Keegan Bradley, Lee Westwood and Bubba Watson are all on the back-nine at 3 under.