It looks like Tiger Woods has finally found some Tiger-esque magic. Woods fired a stellar six-under par 64 on Thursday at the Wyndham Championship, his lowest 18 hole score since his second round 61 at the 2013 WGC Bridgestone Invitational. He currently sits in a tie for seventh place as he heads into Friday’s second round only two strokes off the lead.
Woods’ first round featured seven birdies and a single bogey on the card. He sent early roars through the crowd when he holed a delicate flop shot on his opening hole for birdie. It was the spark he needed, and after that, Tiger Woods played, well, like the Tiger Woods of old. He electrified the gallery with his flushed iron shots and his solid mid-range putting, two key aspects that Woods seemed to have in complete control.
According to stats provided by the PGA Tour’s website, the former world number one hit seven out of 14 fairways, 14 out of 18 greens, and needed only 26 putts to find the bottom of the cup. Woods, who has been struggling off the tee all season long, clearly continued his erratic driving on Thursday, but his solid iron play and clutch putting from inside 10-feet still allowed him to score.
After his round, a smiling Tiger Woods spoke to the media and discussed how happy he felt with his first round play.
“I felt very good out there today. I hit a lot of good iron shots, made some putts, a round that probably could have been 2- to 4-under par and turned into 6. I finally I got something out of my round. I was telling Joey (LaCava, his caddie) today it was nice to finally get something out of it today instead of going the other way.
And it’s about time that Woods found some spark on the golf course. He missed the cut last week at the PGA Championship and currently ranks 187th on the FedEx Cup points list, desperately needing a victory or possibly a solo second place finish this week at the Wyndham Championship to qualify for the post-season FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Without a win, Woods would see his disappointing 2015 season come to a close on Sunday, a season highlighted more by his failures than his accomplishments. Tiger has missed four cuts this year and has posted three rounds in the 80s, shocking results for a golfer who once dominated every facet of the game.
But then again, Thursday’s performance offers perhaps a glimmer of hope for Woods, who knows that his season is at stake here this week. If he can continue his strong iron play and master the greens as well as he did on his opening day, then there is no reason why he won’t win. And time and time again, Tiger has shown the golfing world that he is one who rises to the occasion when the situation seems dire, and why should this week be any different?
Woods will tee off on Friday at 12:50 p.m. ET in search for his first victory on the PGA Tour in nearly two years.
[Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]