There was a second, a short second, when Tiger Woods was one stroke off the lead in a significant in 2022. It did not final.
Through his first 5 holes on Thursday morning, Woods was 2-under par and looking out robust and assured, under no circumstances like he was nonetheless recovering from a February 2021 automotive wreck. But then the drives began drifting, the approaches began fluttering and the putts stopped falling, and Woods plummeted down the leaderboard to finish the day at +4.
“I did not hit a lot of good iron shots. I drove it well, but my iron shots were not very good,” Woods conceded afterward. “I got off to a great start and didn’t keep it going. I really didn’t give myself any looks for birdie … It was a frustrating day.”
Playing earlier than galleries that ran 20 deep and alongside Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, Woods arrange a technique of point-to-point golf that concerned heavy use of his stinger and, in concept, precision approaches resulting in quick birdie seems to be. It did not work out that manner; he usually discovered himself attempting to stand up and down or placing from half a inexperienced away simply to avoid wasting par. He additionally could not get a really feel for the gritty sand, and that value him on a number of holes.
“All the bunker shots sort of came out hot. The sand is a lot faster than I thought it would be,” he mentioned. “I feel like sometimes the sand, I [was] guessing, and I guessed wrong.”
By the tip of the spherical, Woods was visibly uncomfortable, not inserting the identical diploma of weight on his proper leg. He did not give many specifics after the spherical, however did acknowledge that he was having bother doing … properly, every little thing.
“Loading hurts, pressing off it hurts, and walking hurts, and twisting hurts,” he mentioned. “It’s just golf. I don’t play that, if I don’t do that, then I’m all right.”
Woods is clearly previous the purpose of “happy to be here.” He mentioned previous to the event that he “definitely” thought he may win, and whereas that was some attribute Woods overconfidence, he clearly did not play like he anticipated on Thursday.
He’ll have loads of time to get better, teeing off at 2:36 p.m. Eastern on Friday.
Jay Busbee is a author for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at email@example.com.