Tiger had a messy start to the PGA. Here’s how it happened – ESPN

Tiger had a messy start to the PGA. Here’s how it happened – ESPN

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — So, that was a little strange.

Tiger Woods, in his first competitive round since winning the Masters, opened his PGA Championship with a roller-coaster ride of a first round. There were birdies and bogeys, doubles and eagles.

“It wasn’t as clean as I’d like to have it, for sure,” Woods said.

His day started early, at 8:24 a.m. local time off the remote 10th tee at Bethpage Black. Alongside defending champion Brooks Koepka and Open champion Francesco Molinari, Woods showed some rust and life, oscillating all day between bad Tiger and good Tiger.

Here’s how the day played out, how Tiger shot 72 and how he stands nine behind Koepka, who put on a show here Thursday:

Heading into his round …

If the forecast holds, the players in the morning could have a big advantage at Bethpage Black in the first round of the PGA Championship. The sun is out, there’s not a breath of wind. Rain is expected — yet again — this afternoon.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com8h ago

No. 10: Par 4, 502 yards

Score: Double-bogey
Total for the day: 2 over

Tiger just made a mess of his opening hole. It all started with a bad tee shot, then went downhill from there. By the time it was over, Tiger walked away with a double-bogey 6. Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka chipped in from behind the green for birdie. So after just one hole, Koepka already three shots better.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com8h ago

Woods: “Didn’t get off to a very good start. 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.”

No. 11: Par 4, 435 yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 2 over

Tiger made things a bit more simple on No. 11, his second hole of the day. Fairway, green, two putts, move on. Nothing like the all-over-the-place double to start his day.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com7h ago

No. 12: Par 4, 515 yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 2 over

Tiger safely navigates the 12th, following the same strategy as the 11th: Fairway, green, two putts. This time, his birdie putt from the other side of the world nearly dropped. Things seem to be steadying.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com7h ago

No. 13: Par 5, 608 yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 2 over

After he won the Masters, Tiger talked about always trusting his hands with feel shots. Well, they are betraying him early at Bethpage. In four holes, he’s already twice missed the green from inside 90 yards. He salvaged par at 13, but that was a birdie chance wasted.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com7h ago

No. 14: Par 3, 161 yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 2 over

Tiger with a steady diet of 30-footers over the first few holes — that is when he hits the green in regulation. This leads to another par at No. 14 to stay 2 over. Clearly, he’s just trying to get through the harder back nine. Brooks Koepka has not been as conservative and is 2 under, four ahead of Woods.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com7h ago

No. 15: Par 4, 484 yards

Score: Birdie
Total for the day: 1 over

The 15th at Bethpage Black is a monster. The uphill second shot is daunting. Yet, Tiger plays the hole perfectly and rolls in a 15-footer for birdie. It’s just the second birdie of the day at the 15th — and there likely won’t be many more.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com6h ago

No. 16: Par 4, 490 yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 1 over

Tiger’s tee shot on 16 wasn’t that far off. But with how much rain has soaked Bethpage Black, that rough is, well, rough. Tiger hacks his way down the fairway, then finally hits a good pitch and makes par. To be in the hunt this week, you’ll have to scramble. Still, he’s putting a lot of stress on himself early.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com6h ago

No. 17: Par 3, 207 yards

Score: Double-bogey
Total for the day: 3 over

That’s one annoyed Tiger Woods walking off the 17th green. His tee shot, short and in the bunker, buried itself. An awkward stance, an awkward swing results in a 30-footer for par. OK, take bogey and move on. Instead, Woods three putts for his second double of the day. There will be some angry words muttered as he trudges up the hill to the 18th tee.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com6h ago

No. 18: Par 4, 411 yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 3 over

Nobody is tearing up Bethpage Black, but Tiger cannot be happy with a first-nine 3-over 38. Two avoidable double bogeys did some serious damage. He’s the worst of the three in the marquee group: Koepka 3 under; Molinari even.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com6h ago

No. 1: Par 4, 430 yards

Score: Birdie
Total for the day: 2 over

The up-and-down day for Tiger continues. He rolls in a 14-footer for birdie at No. 1. The problem for him, and perhaps the entire field, is Brooks Koepka made another birdie and stands out front at 4 under. Tiger likes to ease into majors, but you can’t let Koepka get too far out of sight.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5h ago

No. 2: Par 4, 389 yards

Score: Birdie
Total for the day: 1 over

Think Tiger is happy to be away from Bethpage Black’s back nine? Turning to the front, he’s opened with birdies at the first and second to move to 1 over.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5h ago

No. 3: Par 3, 230 yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 1 over

Tiger can’t convert another birdie, missing from 9 feet only moments after Brooks Koepka made his. The gap, between Koepka and Tiger, is now six shots — Koepka at 5 under; Tiger at 1 over. Things is, the way Koepka’s played, his score could be even better. That’s scary.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5h ago

No. 4: Par 5, 517 yards

Score: Eagle
Total for the day: 1 under

Well, hello there. Tiger rolls in a 31-footer for eagle at the par-5 5th hole. What was an ugly first nine has improved dramatically after the turn. He is now 4-under through four holes in his second nine and is in red numbers, at 1 under, for the first time in this PGA Championship.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com4h ago

Woods: “Well, I felt like I was getting back into the round. I fought my way back and I had two double bogeys in through there and was still able to get it to under par for the day. Unfortunately I had a couple three-putts there and hit a bad chip there at 8 and left myself in a bad spot.”

No. 5: Par 4, 478 yards

Score: Bogey
Total for the day: Even

Nothing is simple on this day for Tiger. After a huge eagle at the fourth — his first ever in a competitive round at Bethpage — he three-putts his way to bogey at No. 5 to fall back to even. Get ready for a “left some shots out there” theme to his post-round comments.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com4h ago

No. 6: Par 4, 408 yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: Even

A par for Tiger, but this wasn’t without some extra work, which has been a consistent theme in his opening round. His drive found the fairway bunker at No. 6, then his lag putt rolled 3 feet by for another tester. This has been a weird round for Tiger.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com4h ago

No. 7: Par 4, 524 yards

Score: Bogey
Total for the day: 1 over

The greens at Bethpage Black don’t have a ton of contour. Still, Tiger having trouble on these flat greens. Another three-putt pops up at No. 7, his 16th hole of the day. All that work to get to red numbers has been erased as Woods falls back to 1 over.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com4h ago

No. 8: Par 3, 210 yards

Score: Bogey
Total for the day: 2 over

Tiger took a month off since the Masters. He played nine total holes this week at Bethpage Black in practice rounds. The rust is clear in two areas: short game and putting. A poor pitch and another miss inside 10 feet lead to another bogey.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com3h ago

No. 9: Par 4, 460 yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 2 over 72

Tiger will be disappointed with that round of 2-over 72. Wasted a ton of shots. And even worse, for him, he watched as playing partner Brooks Koepka birdied the 18th to shoot a flawless 63.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com3h ago

Woods: “We’ll see how it dries out over the next few days. I don’t see them cutting the rough down, so it’s just going to place another premium on driving the ball in the fairway to get at some of these flags.”

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