Back nine surge gives Tiger opening 69
By Bernie D'Amato under The Open Championship


Tiger Woods is back…on the first page of the leader board. After opening with two straight bogeys, he made the turn at one-over, and then put on a show coming in with five birdies and a bogey to shoot a three-under 69.

Tiger recently returned after missing three months from back surgery, and he is feeling good about his game. “I’m telling you guys it was so important for me to play at Congressional. The fact that I was able to recover every day, and the fact that I was stronger, more explosive the more days I played. I’m only going to get better from that point. And I’m getting stronger, I’m getting faster, I’m getting more explosive. The ball is starting to travel again. And those are all positive things.”

Woods was strong on the back nine with three straight birdies on 11, 12, and 13. A bogey on 14 was offset by two more birdies on 15 and 16. His four-under 33 on the back gave him a 69, which is good for T9.

Tiger also spoke about how his mental game is sharper after playing at Congressional. He was able to put the opening bogeys behind him, which is the type of resilience and patience one needs to contend at a major.

He said, “Because I still had four par 5s to play. I still had a couple of the short holes. I’m not going to be the only guy in a 72-hole event to make two bogeys. I just got mine out of the way early. With the forecast the next couple of days supposed to be iffy, guys aren’t going to go really low here. We’re going to be bunched. It’s the type of golf course where the scores are going to be bunched. And you look at the scores, there’s a ton of players between 2- and 4-under par, and that’s kind of the way this championship, I think, is going to unfold.”

Tiger will be getting soft tissue treatment to make sure he is ready for round two, and he also had a message for the spectators who were taking pictures with their phones. “Just put it on silent.”

Great to have you back playing well Tiger.

Open Championship leader board.

–Bernie D’Amato