Another familiar tale: Tiger Woods opened the first round of the PGA Championship in a disappointing fashion — similar to the way he’s started the previous two majors. Good news is he didn’t bogey the first hole. Woods, who is playing in his final major before he turns 40 at the end of the year, was visibly frustrated, dropping expletives throughout the morning, en route to a mediocre three-over 75.
‘Tis the story of Woods at the ones that matter this summer. Except at this point, we’re getting used to the 14-time major champion posting such scores.
Interesting enough, following his round, Wood griped only about his poor putting and applauded his ballstriking — though he only found 7 or 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens. However, he needed 33 putts to get around Whistling Straits.
“I just had no feel at all for the speed,” said Woods. “It was awful. My speed was bad, hence speed determines line, so that was off.
“I just never had the speed right. I either left them short or blew them by.”
True. At the same time, Woods wasn’t exactly knocking it to makable birdie range. He was leaving himself lengthy lag putts and then often had 5-10-footers to save par.
Currently, Woods is ranked 145th in strokes gained putting.
“I kept with the game plan, I struck it the way I wanted to pretty much all day, and I just never got a putt. I don’t think I made one putt all day.”
Woods, then, praised his ballstriking.
“Good news is I had complete control of the golf ball even with these conditions as they got tougher, I was able to control it,” he said. “But I don’t know, I just never felt like I had the speed right.
“Even if I dumped the ball center of the green or I had some makable putts straight up the gut, they were still off. They were either getting chewed up by the green or I was blowing them through. So I definitely need to somehow find the speed better.”
Woods also doesn’t sound like he’s a massive fan of Whistling Straits, designed by architect Pete Dye (whose work isn’t Woods’ favorite, anyway).
“On a golf course like this, you would much rather hit the ball well, it’s important,” said Woods. “Because if you don’t hit the ball well here, there’s really no room for error on a Pete Dye golf course. He gives you plenty of room, but if you miss those spots, it’s going to be awfully penal and this is probably one of the most, probably his most penal golf course outside of the fairways and outside the greens, that he’s designed.”
With the afternoon wave out on the golf course in much tougher, windier conditions at the moment, Woods is currently tied for 109th place.
Even worse news for Woods is that unless he goes out and posts a low one on Friday afternoon, the PGA Championship could likely denote the end of his season, unless he enters next week’s Wyndham Championship, the last regular event of the 2014-15 schedule, at the last minute tomorrow. It didn’t sound like Woods was very optimistic, though.
“The season is pretty much over very soon, but the year’s not,” he said. “I still can do things overseas, still have our next season starting up next year, I have my tournament down in the Bahamas. There’s plenty of golf to be played globally. So, the season’s, it is what it is, but calendar year, I still have a lot of golf left.”
Perhaps he could benefit from another extended break? Just to be clear, it’s extremely depressing and sad to watch Tiger play golf these days — not trying to “hate” on him. We all want nothing more than for him to stop sucking.