Tiger Woods’ own website condemned his performance in the first round of the St Andrews Open as “barely respectable” in a brutally honest assessment of his day.
Woods returned to the scene of two of his most famous major triumphs this week with great anticipation, but the 46-year-old, who is still recovering from a serious car accident last year, struggled to producing something like the shape that won it the Claret Jug at the home of golf in the early 2000s.
His website, tigerwoods.com, regularly posts blog posts following his efforts and the article by American golf journalist Dan Rapaport, described this week as being “circled on his calendar before he can walk again” .
But the account of Woods’ difficult day in Scotland holds nothing back as it describes his setbacks.
“It started out quite promisingly, with Woods launching a long iron down the center of the wide first fairway,” he read“only for his ball to lie in a cool, sandy divot. Less than five minutes later, a real buzzkill: Woods’ approach jumped into the burn guarding the front of the green, he blocked a four-footer for bogey, and it never really happened at all.
The report continued: “Woods played his first seven holes in six-over-par to eject himself from relevance in his 22nd Open Championship start and needed to play his last 10 holes in one-under par to save a barely six. respectable on 78.”
The report also criticized the slow pace of play that was a feature of the first round, with some players, including US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, complaining that they took over six hours to complete their 18 holes.
“Woods’ disentanglement happened quickly; the rest of the round didn’t,” his website explained. “The trio of Woods, Max Homa and Matt Fitzpatrick needed six hours and nine minutes to complete their laps, and it had nothing to do with any of the three – the firm conditions of the Old Course, the criss-cross routing and the layout of adjacent holes turned Thursday into a slog for virtually the whole pitch. It was a struggle for the healthy 26-year-old; for a 46-year-old with a fused back and significant hardware holding his right leg together, standing that long is the worst case scenario.
“Still, Woods didn’t look for a physical struggle throughout the lap and walked most of the time without a limp.”
He then suggested that Woods’ scoring was due to a lack of sharpness in the game.
“Playing well in practice and on the pitch does not equate to playing well on the course, and crafting a score in competition is made exponentially more difficult when you simply don’t play very often. This, of course, doesn’t is just Woods’ third tournament of 2022 and his third since the single-car crash that nearly cost him his leg Woods has struggled with his short game in his limited game this year, and he’s betting horribly Thursday, by his and anyone else’s standards. It started on the first hole and continued throughout the afternoon; Woods’ lag putting was pretty poor, as he struggled to get the ball into the holeshot on the slower, bumpy surfaces.He had three putts on the fourth hole, the 11th, 13th and failed two putts from the Valley of Sin just before the 18th green.
Woods was back on the course Friday morning as he looked to pull off a miracle escape to make the cut. Fellow American Cameron Young led the night with pre-tournament favorite Rory McIlroy two strokes behind.