Even for Tiger Woods, golf is hard. The 15-time major championship winner struggled mightily during his first round of the Open Championship and finds himself in one of the worst positions he’s ever faced on the links.
Woods shot a 6-over-par 78 through the first 18 holes at St. Andrews on Thursday. That score has him tied for 146th place after one round from the Open Championship. It’s the second-worst situation he’s faced through the opening day of a major championship.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Woods’ worst first-round major performance came during the 2015 U.S. Open from Chambers Bay. He opened the tournament with a 10-over-par and sat in 152nd place.
Woods’ day started off rough, carding a double-bogey on the par-4 opening hole. He was 6-over-par through eight holes and didn’t make birdie until the par 4 ninth. The three-time Open Championship winner settled down on the back nine, shooting just 1-over.
An ultimate competitor, Woods hoped to have a chance to be in contention for this year’s championship. He’ll need a performance of epic proportions to make that happen, as he currently sits 14 shots off the lead (Cameron Young, -8).
Even Tiger Woods Recognized the Not-So-Great Play
Tiger Woods knows a good round when he sees — or plays — one. Thursday does not fall under that category, and he didn’t hide his disappointment.
“Well, probably [the] highest score as I could have shot,” Woods said, per ESPN. “[I] didn’t get off to a great start. … But in a round sometimes it just goes that way. It just goes one way and it never seems to come back, no matter how hard you fight.”
Most notably, Woods pointed to his poor putting throughout Thursday’s round. He said he struggled to properly read the greens, which ran slower than he expected.
“I think I had maybe four or five three-putts [Thursday],” Woods said. “Just wasn’t very good on the greens and every putt I left short. I struggled with hitting the putts hard enough. They looked faster than what they were putting, and I struggled with it.”
As poorly as Woods played on Thursday, golf is a strange game. He’ll have a chance to correct some of the errors with his second round on Friday. Maybe the owner of three Claret Jugs won’t make a run toward the top of the leaderboard, but he could have the cut line in his sights.
Woods is scheduled for a 3:58 a.m. CST tee time on Friday from St. Andrews. We’ll see if the PGA Tour star has a charge in him during his second round.