Tiger Woods first stroke play event since his win at the Tour Championship didn’t get off to the most memorable of starts.
After an even-par opening nine, Wood was in a large pack only three shots back of the early leaders, however, his day was derailed on the par-3 12th. As most players were starting to make their move on the gettable closing stretch at Albany Golf Club, Woods barely found the hazard off the tee.
With a decent chance at saving par, Woods didn’t catch enough of his chip and moved out of the way as the ball tumbled back down the slope, back into the hazard and eventually nearly submerged in a lake.
Woods elected to take a drop from the water, played a safer fourth shot well past the hole and he missed the putt for double bogey, cannon-balling himself to the bottom of the 18-man leaderboard at 3-over par.
“It was grainy,” Woods said of the lie in the hazard. “I had a little patch (of grass) right behind the golf ball and I tried to toe it in there and tried to make sure that I actually hit it long. I was trying to play for a 10-12 footer coming back. It just didn’t come out and ended up rolling back in the hazard.”
A pair of birdies over the final four holes brought Woods back to 1-over par for the round, which left him in a tie for 16th place. All in all, it was a disappointing day for Tiger who drove the ball exceptionally, missing just one fairway. Ironically, his driving covered up the deficiencies he was feeling with other parts of his game as he said he wasn’t comfortable all day and didn’t give himself many looks at birdie.
“I didn’t quite feel comfortable with my game today even though I drove it great,” Woods said. “It was definitely reflected in my scoring. I just didn’t quite hit the ball close enough or give myself many looks at it.”
Woods will tee off on Friday at 11:15 a.m. ET alongside Hideki Matsuyama in the first group off. Woods is eight shots back of first-round co-leaders Patrick Cantlay and Patrick Reed.