Tiger Tracker: Shot-by-shot recap of Tiger Woods' 65 at East Lake

RIDGEWOOD, NJ - AUGUST 23: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the 12th tee during the first round of The Northern Trust on August 23, 2018 at the Ridgewood Championship Course in Ridgewood, New Jersey. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images) Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: Shot-by-shot recap of Tiger Woods' 65 at East Lake

PGA Tour

Tiger Tracker: Shot-by-shot recap of Tiger Woods' 65 at East Lake

Hole No. 18: Par 5, 590 yards

OFF THE TEE (4:06 p.m. ET): Another big swing and he’s just off the fairway in the first cut. About 253 left and we’ll see if he can take a run at the green in two.

APPROACH SHOT (4:12 p.m.): Yup. That 5 wood was absolutely pured, straight at the green and pin high for a look at eagle. Great start for Woods and he didn’t really do anything special today. Just the same smooth swing and another solid card to sign.

ON THE GREEN (4:18 p.m.): BOOM. Tiger drains that eagle look to tie for the lead after a 5-under 65 in Round 1 of the Tour Championship and he is fired up. What a finish.

Hole No. 17: Par 4, 430 yards

OFF THE TEE (3:50 p.m. ET): Pulled fairway wood and it leaked a little to the right, caught a piece of the fairway but may have run off into the rough. Seems like he’s been more consistent with driver than fairway woods off the tee in recent weeks.

APPROACH SHOT (3:56 p.m. ET): Tee shot ended up fine but the approach wasn’t. Sailed it over the green into a tough spot. Another long day in the sun and Tiger’s gotta be feeling it. Up and down for par would be large.

AROUND THE GREEN (4:01 p.m. ET): Solid effort there on a tricky short side chip. Took a long look at the remaining 3-footer for par and calmly dropped it. Nice up and down and we’re on to the par-5 finisher.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 17

Hole No. 16: Par 4, 148 yards

OFF THE TEE (3:39 p.m. ET): Fairway. He’ll have about 146 left and closing in on a really strong round with one par 5 remaining at 18.

APPROACH SHOT (3:40 p.m. ET): Safely on the green. Long birdie look coming up but more of what we’ve seen the past two months. Tee to green he looks like a totally different player than he was this spring and even into mid-summer. This is an extremely competitive tool kit at the moment.

ON THE GREEN (3:47 p.m.): Lengthy try doesn’t go and he’ll settle for par. Still T-2 and one shot back of co-leaders Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 16

Hole No. 15: Par 3, 148 yards

OFF THE TEE (3:35 p.m. ET): Nice. Center of the green and a man firmly in control of his round. This has been a really smooth showing so far, let’s see if he can bring it home.

ON THE GREEN (3:32 p.m. ET): Wow. Not sure how that one didn’t fall, but the 21-foot birdie try dove at the last second and missed by a dimple. Putter has looked really solid over the past 12 holes or so.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 15

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 520 yards

OFF THE TEE (3:12 p.m. ET): Another fairway. Wild how drastically that has changed over the past two months. Can’t say it enough. Woods always credits a new shaft he put in after Bellerive, but he had to have done a ton of work behind the scenes.

APPROACH SHOT (3:17 p.m. ET): 200-plus yards out and he fires a 6 iron in there for a short birdie look. Irons have been on point all day. Chance here to get within one of the lead.

ON THE GREEN (3:23 p.m. ET): Yes sir. Walked in another birdie putt and he’s gliding off the 14th green. Solo second and 1 shot back. This is gonna be a fun weekend.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 14

Hole No. 13: Par 4, 440 yards

OFF THE TEE (2:59 p.m. ET): Put a little extra on that driver swing and missed to the left. Still just 136 yards out so he might be fine over there.

APPROACH SHOT (3:04 p.m. ET): Turns out it wasn’t all that fine. Had a tree screwing up his line to the green so he punched something out into a greenside bunker.

ON THE GREEN (3:09 p.m. ET): Good effort out of the bunker left him seven feet for par. Tiger drilled that to stay at 2 under and has a confident walk about him now. He’s also T-2, by the way.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 13

Hole No. 12: Par 4, 214 yards

OFF THE TEE (2:49 p.m. ET): Fairway wood off the tee here and nothing wrong with it. About 100 yards left so he’s definitely thinking birdie. Everything looks comfortable at the moment.

APPROACH SHOT (2:52 p.m. ET): Ahem. Another dialed-in wedge and he’ll have maybe his best birdie look of the day coming up. Not showing any rust from that bye week after the BMW.

ON THE GREEN (2:56 p.m. ET): Yup, we’re just gonna go ahead and step this one in. Third birdie of the day and a little extra lead in the pencil walking off the green.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 12

Hole No. 11: Par 3, 214 yards

OFF THE TEE (2:40 p.m. ET): Another good one into the green and he’ll have another good birdie try here to get within one shot of the lead. Not many big moves being made this afternoon.

ON THE GREEN (2:45 p.m. ET): That was tougher than it looked, big right-to-left breaker and Tiger didn’t get the line right. Nothing wrong with that par though. Steady as she goes.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 11

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 424 yards

OFF THE TEE (2:26 p.m. ET): Slight miss to the left, off the fairway but just 125 yards in. Doesn’t look too costly at first glance.

APPROACH SHOT (2:29 p.m. ET): Ball jumped way up out of rough and lands short of the green. Tiger wasn’t pleased with that one but doesn’t look like there will be too much damage done.

ON THE GREEN (2:35 p.m. ET): Lengthy putt from the fringe didn’t have a chance but leaves a tap-in par. Lingering two shots back of leaders Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 10

Hole No. 9: Par 3, 216 yards

OFF THE TEE (2:18 p.m. ET): Quick chat with LaCava and he settles on 5 iron. Posing like he was feeling it, but the ball never turned over toward the green and ended up in a bunker on the left. Looks to be pretty straightforward from there though.

AROUND THE GREEN (2:22 p.m. ET): Nothing to it. Solid bunker shot leaves a tap-in for par. That’ll be a 1-under 34 for Tiger on the front after a bad three-putt bogey to start. Hit the halfway house and come on back.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 9

Hole No. 8: Par 4, 462 yards

OFF THE TEE (2:05 p.m. ET): Good one for Tiger here on a tee shot that’s basically a visual nightmare, with nowhere to miss left. Right side of the fairway and 176 yards in. Cruising.

APPROACH SHOT (2:09 p.m. ET): Nice and cozy in there and another great birdie try coming up. Chance to get to T-2 and two shots back of Rory McIlroy, who’s setting the pace at 4 under.

ON THE GREEN (2:14 p.m. ET): Had to be gentle with that one and couldn’t get it to drop from nine feet. Another no-sweat par that could have been more.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 8

Hole No. 7: Par 4, 486 yards

OFF THE TEE (1:50 p.m. ET): First errant tee shot of the day there, big miss to the right. Haven’t seen many misses like that lately but good to know Tiger still remembers how to yell, ‘Fore!’

APPROACH SHOT (1:55 p.m. ET): Tricky one from the pine straw, punched something out of there and somehow landed it safely on the green. That was very well done, one of those shots where Tiger can let his imagination run wild.

ON THE GREEN (2:01 p.m. ET): Good speed on that 38-foot birdie try but no dice. Should be an easy tap-in par from there and on to the eighth hole, where several players have already found the water on the left side. Buckle up.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 7

Hole No. 6: Par 5, 525 yards

OFF THE TEE (1:32 p.m. ET): Driver. Fairway. Repeat. Tiger in the short stuff again on East Lake’s first and only par 5 on the front nine. Has 232 yards left and it’s time to put a red number on the board.

APPROACH SHOT (1:38 p.m. ET): Tiger hated that 5-wood as soon as he made contact. Ended up left of the green in some thick Bermuda grass. This third shot will be the opposite of fun.

AROUND THE GREEN (1:44 p.m. ET): Chip came out a little heavy and never really got going toward the hole. Left a lengthy birdie try. Seems like while Tiger has gotten much stronger off the tee and with his irons lately, his chipping isn’t as good as it was earlier in the year.

ON THE GREEN (1:46 p.m. ET): The putter works again. Made a 15-footer for back-to-back birdies and he’s in the red for the first time today.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 6

Hole No. 5: Par 4, 442 yards

OFF THE TEE (1:21 p.m. ET): Another driver off the tee and this one had some juice on it. Poked it 327 yards to the left side of the fairway, leaving about 125 yards in. He’s putting himself in good spots early.

APPROACH SHOT (1:24 p.m. ET): Nothing special but he’s fine. Keeps it below the hole and leaves about 26 feet for birdie. Not many easy holes out here this morning, leaders are at 2 under.

ON THE GREEN (1:29 p.m. ET): Center. Of. The. Cup. Tiger back to even par after that birdie roll and all is well. Just needed a lengthier birdie try to really get his attention apparently.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 5

Hole No. 4: Par 4, 479 yards

OFF THE TEE (1:09 p.m. ET): That high fade off the tee with driver has been automatic lately. Another fairway. He’s sacrificed some distance for control’s sake, and that one went 292 yards. But as caddie Joe LaCava has pointed out all year, Tiger is so good with his irons he has a chance to make birdie on every hole as long as he’s in the fairway. Seems like a new mindset there over the past few months.

APPROACH SHOT (1:12 p.m. ET): Soaring iron from 179 yards out and lands it just short and right of the hole. Swing looks extremely comfortable, as it has all throughout playoffs. Putter looks shaky, as it has all throughout the playoffs. Another good chance to change the momentum coming up.

ON THE GREEN (1:16 p.m. ET): Hammered a 15-footer through the right-to-left break and made a short one for par.  These are easily the quickest greens Tiger has putted on since Shinnecock and it looks like he’s still getting used to the speed.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 4

Hole No. 3: Par 4, 391 yards

OFF THE TEE (12:57 p.m. ET): Poked it out there 262 yards into the fairway and will have about 125 to the green.

APPROACH SHOT (1:01 p.m. ET): Oh yeah. Tucked it in there right next to the flag and has less than 10 feet left for birdie. Worth noting that Tiger is now ranked No. 1 on Tour in strokes gained approach the green. Pretty ridiculous when you step back and think about where he was at the start of the year.

ON THE GREEN (1:06 p.m. ET): Nope. Missed from nine feet and in with a par. Those are the kinds of missed opportunities that have been the difference between Tiger finishing in the top 5 and actually winning tournaments this season.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 3

Hole No. 2: Par 3, 197 yards

OFF THE TEE (12:48 p.m. ET): Another good swing there and he’s got about 16 feet for a bounce-back birdie. Just needs to put that first three-putt out of his mind. Easier said than done, but Tiger is not lacking in the mental toughness department.

ON THE GREEN (12:54 p.m. ET): Nothing to see here, two-putt par. Onward.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 2

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 469 yards

OFF THE TEE (12:30 p.m. ET): Tiger pulls driver off the first and picked his tee up before the ball even started falling toward the fairway. Good shape in the short stuff and we’re off and running with a fairway in regulation. Expect a lot of that today based on his newfound accuracy in the playoffs.

APPROACH SHOT (12:39 p.m. ET): Second shot was on a great line from 156 yards out and settled about 15 feet past the flag. First birdie look of the day coming up, and it’s a good one.

ON THE GREEN (12:45 p.m. ET): Wasn’t quite as good of a birdie look as it first appeared, a speedy 24-foot downhiller. Barely tapped it and still ran the ball past the hole. And he just missed the 5-foot comebacker to start with an ugly three-putt bogey. Hard to believe how many lip-outs he’s had over the past three tournaments and another one right out of the gate in Atlanta. He’s gonna be pretty hot walking to the second.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 1

• • •

Tiger Woods enters the Tour Championship at East Lake sitting 20th in the FedEx Cup standings. In order to bring home the FedEx Cup title and the $10 million bonus, Woods needs to win – and a lot of help, most notable points leader Bryson DeChambeau to finish T-15 or worse in the 30-player field.

Woods will begin play Thursday as he tees off in the first round at 12:30 p.m. Eastern alongside Tommy Fleetwood.

We’ll track Woods’ round all day, shot by shot, as he attempts to pull off the unimaginable come Sunday in Atlanta.

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