It was the opening round at the 97th PGA Championship, and it was another disappointing day for Tiger Woods. Even in benign conditions, Woods failed to capitalize and fired a three-over par 75 on Thursday. Now, Tiger Woods is nine strokes off the lead set by Dustin Johnson and in a tie for 86th, and if he fails to find his game tomorrow he will likely miss the cut at the PGA Championship.
If Woods were to pack his bags early after two rounds, then he will have missed three consecutive major championship cuts this season, marking the first time in his historic career that he has done so.
Tiger’s troubles at Whistling Straits mostly stemmed from his poor putting. According to stats provided by the PGA Tour’s website, Woods hit seven out of 14 fairways and 12 out of 18 greens, but needed 33 putts, far too many for the former world number one. Woods, frustrated with several short misses on the greens, even dropped a few F-bombs, cursing out in anger and disgust at his poor putting.
On a morning with optimum scoring conditions, the four time PGA champion made five bogeys and only salvaged two birdies on his round. After Tiger finished his disappointing performance, he spoke to the media and discussed his putting woes and his overall game plan.
“I hit it great today, but I made actually nothing — probably one of the worst putting rounds I’ve had in a very long time. So that’s about it. I just had no feel at all for the speed. It was awful. My speed was bad, hence speed determines line, so that was off, too.”
Unfortunately for Woods, if he fails to figure out the greens at Whistling Straits he could end up missing the cut at the PGA Championship; he certainly has a lot of ground to cover on Friday’s second round. It is a promising sign to hear that Wood’s ball striking is coming to form given that all season long he has been battling with erratic driving and iron play due to his new swing.
Now, Tiger desperately needs to pair his improving long game with a solid short game on and around the greens on Friday. He needs a stellar round in the mid-60s to make the cut, maybe something magical to vault himself into contention again, but this week at the PGA Championship, it seems as though his chances at winning are pretty much over.
Woods tees off at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on Friday along with playing partners Martin Kaymer and Keegan Bradley.
[Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images]