After the first round of the PGA Championship, golf’s last major of the year, Tiger Woods struggled to a one over par 71 and finds himself six shots back from the top of the leader-board. Adam Scott and Jim Furyk are tied atop the standings after Thursday’s round at five strokes under par.
“I’m still right there,” Woods said in an interview after after his round was complete. “Overall, I played really well. I just hit a bad iron shot there at No. 4 and didn’t get up and down.”
After a hot start that saw Tiger birdie two of the first six holes of the tournament, his luck turned and the world number one began to struggle. He was three over par after that mark, en route to a one over par finish. Not able to continue his early momentum, Tiger Woods missed some shots that he typically doesn’t, even bogeying the easiest hole on the course, the par four fifth hole. A double bogey ended his round on number nine, making his round switch from under to over par.
“At No. 9, I was completely blocked out and tried to shape one over there and drew no lie at all on the third shot. I was just trying to play 20 feet long and putt back for a bogey. I didn’t even get over the bunker. I didn’t have much there, then hit a beautiful putt that lipped out,” Woods explained.
Tiger Woods also was quick to find an excuse for his poor performance at the PGA Championship’s opening round. After making the turn from front to back nine, his group was warned that they were on the clock for pace of play. Attempting to explain a missed put on number two, his eleventh hole of the day, Tiger said that he “probably should have taken a little bit longer, but we were on the clock and had to get going, so ended up blocking the putt anyways down the hill.”
There is plenty of tournament yet to be played at the 95th PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Pittsford, New York, and Tiger Woods feels he is in contention despite being six shots behind the leaders. If he wants to take a long awaited step towards Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 career major wins, he has to hope he is right.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express