Embattled world No7 (eh?) Tiger Woods endured a frustrating opening round at the Players Championship Thursday, shooting 74 to end the day in a tie for 100th place.
He’ll begin Friday facing the very real possibility of missing the cut in consecutive events for the first time in over 15 years.
The 36-year-old began his round with a bogey at the par-4 10th, and would record a further four dropped shots – at the 15th, 18th, 1st and 3rd – before regaining his equilibrium and coasting to the clubhouse with a run of seven consecutive pars.
Taking to the media centre rostrum after the round, Woods struck a phlegmatic note.
“Any kind of momentum that I would build, I would shoot myself in the foot on the very next hole. Just one of those days.”
Bad fortune, he felt, also played its part in compounding errors.
“I just didn’t score. I hit three decent shots in there and just got some of the worst lies… It was frustrating in the sense that my good shots ended up in bad spots, and obviously my bad shots ended up in worse spots.”
It may have ranked among the more frustrating days of his career, but Woods’ round wasn’t without comic relief. His group was followed, and frequently reduced to embarrassed laughter, by the antics of an exuberant female fan who insisted on (loudly) referring to the 14-time major-winner as “Babydoll”.
He later appeared anxious to prevent it gaining traction as a soubriquet, opting to deploy the classic “I know you are by what am I”.
“Q. Do you think “Babydoll” sticks as a nickname?
For you? No.”