Tiger Can’t Score (Anymore)
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Dude, where my putting stroke?

Okay, fine, he still can, but I didn’t want to mess up the rhyme. Obviously it’s not accurate to say he can’t score anymore. After all, I did see him leave with a blonde…just kidding!

Did you ever think there would be a day that hitting 15 greens in regulation and needing 34 putts would be the norm for Tiger Woods? Well, it has already started to become a pattern! If you hit 15 greens, you should shoot a hell of a lot better than 71, and you definitely shouldn’t be over par. Of course, proximity to the pin must be taken into consideration and Tiger wasn’t throwing darts in the first round of the Honda Classic, so the stats are a bit deceiving.

“I agree with that,” said Tiger when asked if it was accurate to say he didn’t hit his approaches close enough.  “I hit good shots and unfortunately I just picked some bad lines.  And also, I didn’t get up-and-down, I had a couple easy ones; I blew those. So a round I should have been probably 2- or 3-under par quickly turned into 1-over.

It was a ho-hum kind of round at PGA National. He hit it well off the tee (only pulled out his driver four times), but he wasn’t giving himself the greatest birdie opportunities. Basically, he two-putted from about 30 feet on every hole. His iron game was decent, but like I said, he wasn’t exactly flag hunting. He did actually hit some good putts, but burned a lot of edges.

“I hit a lot of pure putts today,” Tiger told reporters after posting a one-over 71, seven back of leader Davis Love III.  “They rolled over a lot of edges.  They just didn’t quite go in.  But wasn’t disappointed with my lines.  A couple bad reads out there.  The grain kind of snagged it harder or less than I expected, but overall I hit the ball very good with my putts.”

However, Woods also wasn’t a fan of the greens (coughexcusescough) and had a hard time adjusting to the speed.

“They are hard to hit the putts hard enough for me,” said Tiger, who is tied for 68th through the first round (though there are still two players who chose not to finish 18 due to darkness). “I find that they look faster than they are putting.  I had to get committed to hitting the putts harder and getting past the hole, and when I start doing that, I will make the putts.  But consequently, I also 3-putted one, too.  I whipped it by there.”

And then missed the five-footer coming back for par.

Random, somewhat meaningless stat of the day: Tiger was second in greens and second-to-last in total putts, while Johnson Wagner was first in greens and last in total putts.

His score wasn’t really a great indicator of the way he played, which he felt was decent.

“I just didn’t get a lot out of my round,” he said.  “It’s kind of how I went today  I felt like I played a lot better and I putted a lot better.  I just didn’t score.”

Which was frustrating.

“Hopefully tomorrow it will be better.”


(AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)