Tiger tracker: Woods fires an opening-round 77
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - After a roaring start, Tiger Woods made three double bogeys and fired a 7-over 77 to sit 14 shots off Steve Stricker's current lead at the PGA Championship.
After five holes, Tiger was tied for the lead at 3 under, but after losing his tee shot on the par-3 15th, the round seemed to quickly go downhill.
He finished his final 13 holes at 10 over. It was his worst opening round at a major in his career.
Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship
Take a look at Tiger Woods through the years at the PGA Championship
Woods, 35, said last week that he will not play next week’s event in Greensboro, N.C., because of a prior family commitment, meaning this is his last event to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs. Currently No. 129 in the standings, Woods likely needs to finish around 20th this week to ensure a spot in the first playoff event. (The top 125 after Greensboro advance to the playoff opener, The Barclays on Aug. 25-28.)
Look for updates about every 5 minutes, including trivia, little-known facts, links to other stories and whatever else you might want to know about Woods' return. You can also click on each hole to view a fly-over of the hole.
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Tiger is playing in the sand too much today, finding another greenside bunker. His shot out of the bunker flew over the flag and he two-putted to lose another shot and finish the round at 7-over 77. Currently, that leaves him 14 shots off Steve Stricker's lead.
Tiger taps in for a par after finding yet another fairway bunker (he has only hit 5 of 13 fairways), but a brilliant second shot made the par easy. Tiger stays at 6 over for the tournament.
Leaderboard update: Steve Stricker picks up a birdie to move to 7 under.
A simple par after Tiger lands it safely on the green. He isn't making the move that is necessary to give him a fighting chance to come back on Friday to stay in the tournament.
Leaderboard update: Steve Stricker is steady at 6 under.
Tiger Woods quickly gave back the stroke he gained on No. 5, and then some. Tiger drove into a bunker, hit his second shot into the water and then chipped to 20 feet and two-putted for his third double bogey of the day. He sits at 6 over and will need to stop the bleeding over his final three holes.
Leaderboard update: Steve Stricker is staying steady at 6 under.
Tiger picks up a stroke, making a short birdie putt after he put his second shot on the par 5 over the green. Tiger is at 4 over, 10 shots behind leader Steve Stricker.
Leaderboard update: Steve Stricker is putting some distance on the field, sitting three shots better than Alexander Noren and Jerry Kelly at 6 under.
Tiger found yet another bunker on the par-3 fourth, and again failed to get up-and-down. Now 5 over. These bunkers are difficult to play from -- a lot of players complained that they have too much sand, causing the ball to sit down or, worse, plug near the edges. One player said there was “four times” too much sand.
Leaderboard update: Steve Stricker has moved to 6 under with a birdie on No. 1.
Having played the third hole properly - fairway and green - Tiger two-putts from 15 feet to record only his second par in the past seven holes. Still 4 over, nine shots back, but has a chance to make up a couple of shots on the final few holes of the front nine.
Leaderboard update: Steve Stricker has a two-shot lead after a birdie on No. 18 (he started on the back). Adam Scott is climbing the leaderboard at 3 under.
Swing doctor, I am not, but Tiger’s address position looks uncomfortable, unathletic - kind of like a pigeon-toed man trying to fit into a locker. So far he’s only hit three of nine fairways (33.3 percent), eerily similar to his performance last week in Akron. For the season, he’s hitting just less than 50 percent of the fairways.
With another bogey on 2, Tiger has improbably gone from 3 under to 4 over in a six-hole span. And guess who has moved into a tie for second, two shots off the lead? Adam Scott.
Leaderboard update: Steve Stricker has a one-shot lead at 4 under.
Similar issues on No. 1, Tiger’s 10th of the day. Drove it left off the tee, into the trees, and failed to get it up-and-down out of the bunker. Now 3 over, seven shots off the early pace. Bunker play continues to kill Woods - he’s only 2 of 4 in sand saves thus far.
Leaderboard update: Bubba Watson and Steve Stricker continue to have a stranglehold on the lead, both at 4 under. They are both still on their respective first nine holes.
Tiger is all out of sorts, again, with his long clubs. He drove into the right fairway bunker on 18, could only advance the ball about 10 yards from an awkward lie, and now, from some 220 yards and into the fan, tugged a long iron way left of the flag. The ensuing double leaves him with a first-nine 37, 2 over par. About an hour ago that seemed unfathomable.
Leaderboard update: Steve Stricker has pulled into the solo lead at 4 under.
2011 PGA Championship (Rd. 1)
Check out photos from the first round of the 2011 PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club
Tiger Woods puts his tee shot on the par 3 safely on the green, and will have a lengthy birdie putt to try and get back on track.
Tiger comes up a bit short and taps in for par to stay at even par.
Leaderboard update: Bubba Watson is 4 under through his first six holes, one shot ahead of Steve Stricker, Bill Haas and Jerry Kelly. Meanwhile, Ryo Ishikawa is having a nightmare day at 10 over through 10 holes.
In his Wednesday news conference, Tiger said that he can't recall a more difficult closing stretch than the last four holes here at Atlanta Athletic Club. No kidding: After a double at 15, Woods found a fairway bunker off the tee on 16, trouble left, a greenside bunker and curled in a putt for bogey. Now back to even par, and those three early birdies are rendered a nice footnote. Davis Love III birdies to move to 1 under.
Leaderboard update: Bubba Watson has moved to 4 under to take a one-shot lead.
Almost on cue, Tiger rinses his tee ball on the par-3 15th. From the drop zone he pitches to 15 feet, misses the putt and takes double. That drops him back to 1 under. Plenty of holes to make it up, of course, but that hurts, if only in terms of momentum.
Leaderboard update: Bubba Watson, Bill Haas and Steve Stricker have joined Ross Fisher at 3 under.
Now, it's starting to get interesting. Tiger bombs his drive on 14, sticks his approach to 3 feet, sinks the putt for birdie, moves to 3 under. One fool in the crowd yells, "He's back!" If we hadn't seen this 10 times before, well, I would tend to agree.
Leaderboard update: Ross Fisher bogeys to move to 3 under, tied with Tiger.
Stree-free par for Woods on 13. His tee shot found the fairway bunker, but two putts from a slippery spot on the back of the green keeps him at 2 under.
Leaderboard update: Ross Fisher has birdied another par 4, moving to 4 under and a one-stroke lead over Nick Watney and Brendan Steele.
Never mind that there's a pond short and right of 12 green. He rips a fairway wood through the trees, through the crowd, and finds the greenside bunker. Seems someone has been practicing their bunker play, too. Splashes out to 4 feet, confidently rolls it in, and Tiger is 2 under thru three holes -- a perfect start.
Leaderboard update: Ross Fisher has birdied three par 4s to move to 3 under on the day. Nick Watney has joined him at 3 under.
It's early, yes, but it's already hot and the ball is flying. Tiger, wearing a salmon-colored shirt and black slacks, has a nice sweat going. You should see the scribes...
After finding the fairway again, Tiger flies his approach well past the flag, probably 40 feet, but two-putts for par. Like last week, at least in spurts, he is swinging much more balanced and in rhythm. We will see if that changes when he unsheaths his first driver of the day, on No. 12.
Leaderboard update: Gary Woodland is 2 under through four holes.
Already it is warm, probably 85 degrees, with virtualy no wind. Ideal scoring conditions for Tiger and his group. Fans are lined eight deep around the 10th tee, where Tiger got started on Thursday.
Tiger finds the fairway on No. 1 - no small feat if you watched him play last week - and finds the green, 15 feet right of the flag, with his second shot. He pours the putt right in the middle of the cup for birdie, he pumps his fist, and that is how his PGA Championship will begin: very auspiciously.
Davis Love III also birdies the hole, while Padraig Harrington gets out of trouble and manages par.
Click the topper to see the Tiger Woods archive.
Tiger Woods will tee off with Davis Love III and Padraig Harrington at 8:35 a.m. EDT.
In case you missed our preview coverage of Tiger and his return, here are a couple of headlines from yesterday:
Jeff Rude says that Tiger tapped the breaks on the runaway story of the week involving his former caddie, Steve Williams. Click here for the story.
And, in our daily 5 Things, we look forward to Tiger being able to talk with his game instead of press conferences. Click here for our 5 Things preview of Thursday's action.