Tiger Woods fired a 3-under 69 on Thursday at the Open Championship, currently sitting three shots off the lead.
The round consisted of six birdies and three bogeys – including back-to-back bogeys to start the round.
Here’s how Tiger’s round unfolded, shot by shot, at Royal Liverpool:
• • •
Hole 1: Par 4, 458 yards
As a handful of groups have made the turn, the attention on the course turns to Tiger Woods, playing in his first major of the year after back surgery. With temperatures expected to reach 75 degrees today, Woods is decked out in a short-sleeve grey shirt and grey slacks. Check out Tiger’s official scripted outfits from Nike here. Woods is playing with Angel Cabrera and Henrik Stenson (who yukked it up on Wednesday, read about it here) for the first two rounds. We’ll follow Tiger, shot-by-shot, while also keeping you up to date on the rest of the field.
• Off the tee: Of the 39 players to have completed No. 1 today, there have been eight birdies. With long iron in hand, Tiger finds the left side of the fairway.
• Approach shot: From 193 yards, Tiger takes a rip at it, but finds a greenside bunker and is immediately in scramble mode.
• Around the green: Facing a big lip in front of him in the bunker, Tiger’s sand shot is safely out, but runs all the way across the green. Putting from off the green, Tiger leaves his par attempt about 4 feet short of the cup.
• On the green: Tiger makes the bogey putt. Good news for Tiger? He also bogeyed the opening hole in 2006, when he won at Hoylake.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 1)
• • •
Hole 2: Par 4, 454 yards
Not the start that Tiger was looking for, but you’ll find a bunker or two when playing the Open Championship. And they are penal to say the least. Moving to No. 2, there has been only one birdie in 39 recorded scores so far today.
• Off the tee: Iron again, but this time finds the right rough.
• Approach shot: From the long stuff, Tiger manages to one-hop it onto the green and it runs out to about 50 feet right of the hole.
• On the green: Tiger hammers his birdie attempt and it runs about 6 feet past the hole. A poor three-putt bogey here, as he misses the par putt to the right of the hole.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over (thru 2)
• Elsewhere on the course: Sergio Garcia hits a nice approach to about 12 feet on No. 3 and drains the putt to move to 2 under, one shot back of Marc Leishman.
• • •
Hole 3: Par 4, 426 yards
Tiger’s short game continues to be a thorn in his side. First a subpar bunker shot at No. 1, then a three-putt on No. 2. While early, he’s now five back of current leader Marc Leishman.
• Off the tee: Iron again and Tiger finds the fairway on the right.
• Approach shot: Solid shot into the green here, settling about 25 feet past the hole.
• On the green: Tiger’s birdie putt settles 6 inches from the cup and he taps in for his first par of the day.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over (thru 3)
• Elsewhere on the course: Erik Compton picks up his fifth birdie of the round at the par-4 11th and has moved to 2 under, just one off the lead. Rickie Fowler, who finished T-2 at the U.S. Open with Compton, birdies the fourth hole to move to 1 under.
• • •
Hole 4: Par 4, 372 yards
Tiger showed better speed on his birdie putt on No. 3, and that will be critical today as the temperatures rise.
• Off the tee: Another iron here and another fairway hit. He’ll need to get something going, as he can’t let the likes of Sergio Garcia get too much breathing room.
• Approach shot: Tiger motions for it to come back a bit right, but it stays left of the flag and catches a small ridge at the back of the green and settles just off the green, about 25 feet from the hole.
• Around the green: Putting from off the green, Tiger doesn’t commit fully to it and leaves it about 6 feet under the hole. Simply didn’t hit it hard enough.
• On the green: Tiger makes the par putt to avoid a third bogey of the day.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over (thru 4)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rory McIlroy nearly holes out for eagle on No. 2, coming to rest inches from the cup and the Ulsterman is 1 under early in his round. Sergio Garcia has joined the leaders at 3 under after making a 15-footer for birdie on the par-5 fifth hole. Rickie Fowler also birdies No. 5 and is just one off the lead.
• • •
Hole 5: Par 5, 528 yards
Tiger’s putt from off the green on No. 4 was dismal by his standards, but the par-saving putt looked solid. Tiger is definitely struggling around the greens since returning from back surgery.
• Off the tee: Sticking to his game plan, Tiger takes iron and finds the middle of the fairway, although he doesn’t seem too pleased with it.
• Second shot: Tiger can’t get to the green, so lays it up in front of a greenside bunker and will have a short chip to the front right pin.
• Around the green: Tiger nearly holes out, but it still runs about 8 feet past the hole. His first real look at birdie.
• On the green: Tiger gets one to fall, hitting the right edge of the cup and he cards his first birdie of the day.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 5)
• Elsewhere on the course: Sergio Garcia now shares the lead with Robert Karlsson at 3 under, with Karlsson picking up birdie on No. 16.
• • •
Hole 6: Par 3, 201 yards
Nice birdie there by Tiger to potentially get some momentum going and inch back toward red figures.
• Off the tee: Solid tee ball here, as it runs down the right side of the green and settles 20 feet right of the cup.
• On the green: Tiger misreads his birdie putt, not playing it enough to the left and the battles settles 3 feet right of the cup, which he knocks in for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 6)
• Elsewhere on the course: Jordan Spieth birdies Nos. 3 and 4 to move to 2 under, and he heads to the par-5 fifth in search of a tie for the early lead. Brooks Koepka has joined that lead after a birdie at the par-3 13th.
• • •
Hole 7: Par 4, 480 yards
Solid par at No. 6, especially on a lengthy par 3. The front nine at Hoylake has only one par 5, which Tiger took advantage of.
• Off the tee: Tiger is hesitant on liking this iron, but it finds the left side of the fairway.
• Approach shot: Tiger starting to look a little more dialed in, getting this second shot to about 20 feet right of the pin.
• On the green: Tiger has the pace perfect on this birdie putt, but settles 2 inches left of the cup and he settles for a par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 7)
• Elsewhere on the course: Robert Karlsson ends his round with pars at Nos. 17 and 18 to get into the clubhouse with a 3-under 69. He’s tied for the lead with Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia, with Fowler picking up birdie on No. 8. Rory McIlroy just misses and eagle putt on No. 5, settling for a 3-footer for birdie to move to 2 under.
• • •
Hole 8: Par 4, 431 yards
That birdie putt at No. 7 is one that Tiger could have had, but he is now giving himself chances.
• Off the tee: No change to the game plan, as Tiger takes iron and finds the middle of the fairway.
• Approach shot: From 136 yards, Tiger finds the green, but isn’t happy that he’ll have 20 feet from the right of the hole for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger thinks he has this one, but the ball hits the right edge and spins out. Just a tad too much pace for it to fall. He knocks in an 18-incher for his fifth par of the round.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 8)
• Elsewhere on the course: With back-to-back birdies on Nos. 10-11, Matteo Manassero has joined a six-way tie for the lead at 3 under. Rory McIlroy is one of those co-leaders after draining a 12-footer for birdie on No. 6. Jim Furyk has moved to 3 under as well after a birdie at No. 10. The 10th hole has been birdied 18 times in 36 tries so far today.
• • •
Hole 9: Par 3, 197 yards
Another birdie chance missed at No. 8 for Tiger, although all are mid-range.
• Off the tee: Nice ball here from Tiger, as it settles about 12 feet left of the hole. A good look at birdie.
• On the green: For the third straight hole, Tiger scares the cup, but this one sits on the lip and he settles for another par and a 1-over 36 on the front nine.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 9)
• Elsewhere on the course: Sergio Garcia makes a mess of the par-5 10th and drops back to 2 under, one off the lead. Brooks Koepka and Edoardo Molinari are back in a share of that lead after birdies at the par-5 16th.
• • •
Hole 10: Par 5, 532 yards
Tiger hit 6 of 7 fairways on the front nine and seemed to get into a better groove after back-to-back bogeys to start his round. At 1 over, Tiger makes the turn four shots back of a seven-way tie for the lead.
• Off the tee: With fairway metal, Tiger drills it down the throat of the fairway. He liked that one immediately.
• Second shot: Long iron in hand and 238 yards to the green, Tiger tugs in a bit left and finds the rough to the left of the green. The ball does sit up and isn’t in the long stuff.
• Around the green: Tiger’s chip is solid at best, as he leaves himself 10 feet from under the hole for birdie.
• On the green: Hits another lip, this time on the left side and he has to settle for par again. Maybe slightly too firm again.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 10)
• Elsewhere on the course: Sergio Garcia, facing a second consecutive bogey, chips in from off the green at the par-4 11th to move back into a tie for the lead at 3 under. Marc Leishman joins Robert Karlsson in the clubhouse with a 3-under 69 after a birdie at No. 18. Erik Compton just misses a birdie putt on the par-5 18th, carding a 1-under 71.
• • •
Hole 11: Par 4, 391 yards
That was definitely a missed opportunity for Tiger after he drilled his tee ball. Another poor chip shot proved costly. He is five back of new solo leader Rickie Fowler, who birdies No. 12 to break an 11-way tie for the lead.
• Off the tee: Another iron, another fairway. He’s now 8 of 9 in fairways hit.
• Approach shot: From 134 yards, Tiger takes wedge and leaves it short of the green, taking a bit too much off that one.
• Around the green: Putting from off the green, Tiger gets one to fall finally, having to stab at the ball up against the collar.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 11)
• • •
Hole 12: Par 4, 447 yards
Tiger needed that putt to fall after three consecutive close calls and is back to within striking distance of the leaders.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes fairway metal and again bends it right down the middle of the fairway.
• Approach shot: From 185 yards, Tiger hits his best iron shot of the day and will have about 5 feet from under the hole for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger gets this one to drop as well, hitting the right edge and spinning in. That’s back-to-back birdies.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 12)
• Elsewhere on the course: Edoardo Molinari and Brooks Koepka both birdie the par-5 18th hole to card 4-under 68s and take the clubhouse lead. Rory McIlroy makes birdie on the par-5 10th hole to join what is now a six-way tie for the lead at 4 under (Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk). Tom Watson is hanging tough, making a 15-footer for birdie on No. 15 to get to even for the tournament.
• • •
Hole 13: Par 3, 194 yards
An impressive run by Tiger here, as he’s battled back after a rough start with better pace on his putts.
• Off the tee: Tiger seems dialed in now, as he leaves this one about 8 feet right and above of the hole.
• On the green: And that’s three in a row for Tiger, as he puts this one in the heart of the cup.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 13)
• • •
Hole 14: Par 4, 454 yards
Three birdies in a row, preceded by three holes where he burned the edges. Tiger has played himself back into early contention at Hoylake, now just two shots off the lead.
• Off the tee: Maybe a bit too much adrenaline, but takes a big swing with fairway metal and overcooks it left and into the rough. The ball is sitting up however.
• Approach shot: Tiger has a blind shot here and actually gets too much of the ball, sending it right of the green and deep, leaving a long pitch back to the hole.
• Around the green: Another poor chip shot that wanders off well left and leaves himself a lengthy par putt.
• On the green: Tiger’s par-saving putt from 25 feet comes up a revolution short and he picks up his third bogey of the day.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 14)
• Elsewhere on the course: After a nice approach to 10 feet at No. 12, Rory McIlroy drains the birdie putt to take the outright lead at 5 under.
• • •
Hole 15: Par 3, 161 yards
A poor tee ball cost Tiger at No. 14, and he now trails Rory McIlroy and Matteo Manassero by four shots.
• Off the tee: Tiger hits another nice tee ball here, getting it to the back of the green and letting some slope take it to about 12 feet right of the hole.
• On the green: Caddie Joe Lacava helps Tiger with the read and he drains it for his fourth birdie in five holes.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 15)
• Elsewhere on the course: Matteo Manassero makes a 12-footer for birdie on 18 to card a 5-under 67 and take the clubhouse lead by one.
• • •
Hole 16: Par 5, 577 yards
A great bounce-back birdie from Tiger at No. 15, as he pulls himself back to within three of co-leaders Rory McIlroy and Matteo Manassero.
• Off the tee: Tiger uses driver for the first time and finds the left side of the fairway, although he seems a bit upset that it isn’t in the middle.
• Second shot: With fairway wood in hand from just under 270 yards, Tiger puts a bit too much fade on it and finds greenside rough, although it does seem to be sitting up again.
• Around the green: A nice chip that nearly finds the hole for eagle, allowing him to tap in for another birdie.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 16)
• • •
Hole 17: Par 4, 458 yards
That’s five birdies over six holes for Tiger Woods, and he’s now two shots off the lead with two to play.
• Off the tee: Tiger is a bit late on this swing, sending his tee ball to the right, hitting a man in the face as he was standing in the rough. Yet again, it looks like the ball is sitting up nicely.
• Approach shot: From 237 yards, Tiger muscles a long iron into the green, stopping pin-high and about 40 feet to the left of the hole.
• On the green: Tiger thought he had this one, raising the putter into the air, but it lips out hard on the left and leaves him 2 feet for par. He knocks that in and heads to the par-5 18th.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 17)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rory McIlroy saves par from short of the green on 15 and stays bogey-free and in a tie for the lead at 5 under. Sergio Garcia pars the 18th hole to card a 4-under 68, one shot off the lead. Rickie Fowler posts a 3-under 69.
• • •
Hole 18: Par 5, 561 yards
Tiger is definitely feeling it today, as even his 40-footers look like they are going to drop. Woods now trails Rory McIlroy by three after the Ulsterman birdied No. 16 with a nice up-and-down from a greenside bunker.
• Off the tee: With fairway metal, Tiger finds the light rough on the right side of the fairway.
• Second shot: From 275 yards, Tiger takes 3-wood and gets it there, but it trickles into a pot bunker. He should have enough green to work with on the sand shot.
• Around the green: Simply needing to get it out of the pot bunker, Tiger does just that and leaves himself 25 feet for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger’s birdie attempt slides by on the left and leaves him 3 feet for par. He knocks that in for a round that saw him card six birdies and three bogeys.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 18)