Tiger Woods Just Finished His First Round At The Open

Esequiel Farfan
Julio 20, 2018

The fairways were Stimped at 9.5 feet while the greens were running 10.1 feet, so the pros had to adapt and adjust.

Though the draw here won't be a significant factor - or at least not like in recent years, with a wide range in scores from morning to afternoon - it's clear that Woods (in game 47 of 52) encountered the most hard of the conditions Thursday, with the wind gusting to 20 miles per hour and the fairways running even faster after another sun-splashed afternoon. He birdied his first two holes and made eight birdies and four bogeys. It could have been worse but he made par on the first Par-5 hole after hitting his driver OB.

With conditions already looking brighter we could see one or two more scores to rival his superb 65. The one club in the bag cooperating this season has been the putter as he checked in No. 17 in SG: putting before the week started. He took only 22 putts and had a one-shot lead, giving him little more than bragging rights in the house of stars where he is staying, with roommates that include five major champions and Rickie Fowler.

The stark reality is that Woods is now ranked 71 in the world, won the last of his 14 majors a decade ago and has not triumphed at any tournament since 2013.

Zach Johnson, the 2015 champion, leads after a second-round 67.

Despite visible tape on Tiger Woods' neck, he was content with his opening round. His conservative game plan kept the big numbers off of his card and his hopes for a fourth title intact for at least one more round. His even-par 71 included a bogey-free 34 in the outward nine before three bogeys on the back nine as he came home in 37.

As he stood in the middle of the sixth fairway with an 8-iron in his hand for his second shot on the par 5, Woods seemed poised to leap onto the leaderboard. Neither did his rough night's sleep as he played his round with MAGIC TAPE on his upper back and neck. Mental and physical fatigue had to have played a factor down the stretch, and the fact that he showed so much promise early and kept it together late means his chances at the claret jug are alive and well with rain in the forecast for Friday morning.

"He hit it good", said playing partner Russell Knox.

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"But the misses toward the end were the exact misses that I've been having and I'm working away from". Henrik Stenson bailed on the Scottish Open last week to rest an ailing elbow, forcing gamers to make a decision this week.

Finding the fairway wasn't the chief problem for Woods on Day 1, however.

Johnson wasn't the only big name bitten in the opening round.

Unsurprisingly, there were zero bogey-free rounds.

Round one of the 2018 Open Championship is in the books and it was a good one.

There are three South Africans in the top five and none of them are named Oosthuizen, Schwartzel or Grace.

Danny Willett, who hasn't had a victory since surprisingly winning the Masters in 2016, shot a 69 and was three shots back.

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