Tiger Woods opted to sit out the four PGA Tour events between the Masters and PGA Championship, and it showed – at least in the opening round at Bethpage Black.
Woods, playing alongside first-round leader, and defending champion, Brooks Koepka, shot a 2-over par 72 on Thursday.
Starting his round on the 10th hole, Woods opened with a double-bogey-6, but clawed his way back to 1-under after 13 holes, highlighted by a birdie-birdie-par-eagle stretch on Nos. 1-4. A bogey on the par-4 fifth, though, was followed by two more bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8 to sign for a 72.
“It wasn’t as clean as I’d like to have it for sure. Didn’t get off to a very good start,” said Woods who hit 10 of 14 (71.4%) fairways and 12 of 18 (66.6%) greens.
“It was a good drive and ended up in a bad spot, and I compounded the problem with trying to use the backboard behind the hole there and missing a putt I should have made. And then found my way back around.
“Got it back under par for the day, and let a couple slip away with a couple bad putts and a couple mistakes at the end.”
Tiger’s First-Round Stats
Driving: 283.4 yards (79th)
Fairways: 10/14, 71.4% (24th)
Greens: 12/18, 66.6% (28th)
Putts/GIR: 22/1.8 (62nd)
Scoring: 1 Eagle, 3 Birdies, 9 Pars, 3 Bogeys, 2 Doubles
Tiger Woods’ Scorecard
“He [Brooks Koepka] played well. I mean, he hit a couple loose tee shots today that ended up in good spots, but I think that was probably the highest score he could have shot today. He left a few out there with a couple putts that he missed. But it could have easily been a couple better.”
– Tiger Woods on Brooks Koepka’s course-record 63