Solid. Real solid.
Tiger's been mostly absent from competitive golf all year, so today's round came with a lot of questions. He had only played Torrey Pines (T9th) and Riviera (68th) before quarantine, and since the restart, has only played the Memorial (T40th). Although he said he felt good, focused, and liked his chances, we were all wondering:
How's his health? How's his game? How's his sharpness? How are his energy levels? How strong is his desire, at age 44, with 2 kids and an ever-ailing body, to win?
A quarter of the way into this thing, he's looking pretty damn good.
Tiger posted a 2-under 68 which currently has him at 3 back (and the wind is supposed to pick up all afternoon). It's his lowest score to begin a major championship since the 2012 Open, over 8 years ago. He led the morning wave in driving distance (313.5 yards). On the 9th hole (his 18th), he outdrove Justin Thomas, the world no. 1, by 4 or 5 yards.
He looked comfortable with his new putter, a Scotty with a bit more length to allow him to stand more upright and relieve some of the stress on his back. He sits 19th in strokes-gained: putting. He made a 33-footer for birdie on 13.
It wasn't flawless, no, but golf never is. On 16, he airmailed the green with a wedge from 96 yards in a fairway bunker (got up & down for par). Through the middle part of the round he lost his driver (but managed to get it going again through the finishing stretch). There were a few par saves we would have liked to have seen drop, but it's a game of misses.
And we did get a few walk ins.
- 5 birdies, 3 bogeys
- 7/14 fairways
- 12 GIRs
- 28 putts
When Tiger Woods opens a major championship with a 68, Tiger Woods is a threat. And the best part? We get prime time Tiger tomorrow night taking us into the weekend. He's off tomorrow afternoon at 4:58pm EST with JT & Rory.
Let's. Fucking. Go.