Tiger-mania had a bucket of cold water poured on it as Tiger Woods shot an uneven first round ending the day at a 2-over for a 72.
Needless to say, there wasn’t much momentum after last month’s Master’s win.
“The golf course is playing tough,” Woods said. “You know, there’s — you can make — I felt like it’s not that hard to make bogeys out here, but it’s hard to make birdies. And I thought it was going to be hard to get the ball close to the holes. When I had a few opportunities there with short irons, I played aggressively and was able to get them in there where I had makeable putts, and otherwise 30, 40 feet away and move on.”
He has a point, as Bethpage played touch for much of the field. Only his pairing-mate Brooks Koepka and Kiwi Danny Lee were able to tame the Black today.
And maybe it was because he was a bit under the weather as well and opted not to practice yesterday.
Today, he had his chances, but the Black doesn’t forgive mistakes.
“I didn’t take advantage of my opportunities there,” Woods said. “I thought I hit a good drive at 1 — or sorry, 10, ended up in — I had no lie. 17, I hit it up against the face and it plugs, and we get down there and there’s no sand (indiscernible). It was just bizarre. But I fought my way back around there, and unfortunately, I just didn’t keep it together at the end.”
Whatever it is, Woods is still in this as the Black giveth and takes away. A strong round tomorrow and the 43 year-old is back in this.
“We’ll see what the golf course offers up tomorrow. It changed quite a bit from when we played this morning to this afternoon,” he said. “The greens got a lot faster. We’ll see how it dries out over the next few days. I don’t see them cutting the rough down, so it’s just going to place another premium on driving the ball in the fairway to get at some of these flags.”