ST. LOUIS – Tiger Woods made a terrible start to his PGA Championship by progressing 3-through over the last 16 holes and announcing an even 70-point race on Thursday.
Woods came in with his 17th hole of the day, the par-5 eighth. Woods released a birdie putt after jumping out of a green bunker. It was his third birdie putt of the day and his second on his back.
Woods booged his first hole and doubled his second by 3-to-2 after only two holes. As Woods walked to the third hole fairway, he changed into a dark blue Nike sweater.
"The shirt is not working," Woods & # 39; Caddy remarked to his partner Justin Thomas when Woods disappeared behind a partition. 19659005] Woods double-bogeyed # 11
Thursday was Wood's first round of competition at the Bellerive Country Club and his first competitive match in the city of St. Louis. Until the weekend's PGA Championship, Woods' closest association with the field and the area was a practice session he played on September 11, 2001.
Woods was in town for a golf clinic and continued playing the morning of the attacks with Mark Calcavecchia. In the following days the air traffic was stopped, and Woods drove from St. Louis to Florida.
<p class = "Canvas Atom Canvas Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) –sm" type = "text" content = "" I am on the 13th and It was a very surreal time for me on this drive and a lot of thought at 5 pm, "Woods said Tuesday. " data-reactid = "22"> "I drove It was a very surreal time for me on this trip and a lot of reflection at 13 and 17 o'clock, "Woods said Tuesday.
Surreal could be a good word to describe Woods' first two holes on Thursday. He boogered the first hole when he was forced to hit the rough after a rough ride. His iron shot from the tee on the 11th hole of the Par-3 went into the left rough and Woods had shot something that seemed relatively easy over a pond and onto the green.
But Woods did not get his second shot clean. The ball showed its descent far in front of the green and bounced off the cliff in front and flopped into the water.
A drop and a missed bogey putt later, Woods was playing more punches over par than holes.
"Grind I'm traveling this place," Woods said after his round. "I tried to stay as patient as possible, I made a terrible start and just tried to hold on to it and just snap it away."
Woods gets two punches on his back nine
Crossing the course play an adventure near Woods. With 42 years and a five-year series without a win, he is still the most magnetic golfer on the PGA Tour. Especially for many participants who have never seen Woods in person.
He teamed with Thomas, winner of the WGC event last week at Firestone and the defending champion of the PGA Championship, and two-time PGA champion Rory McIlroy. Since Woods hears a "Go Tiger" at almost every step and Thomas "Roll Tide" hears on a seemingly endless loop – after all, Missouri is now SEC Country – McIlroy may have been in a unique position to play the popularity of the third violin  When Thomas broke through with a three-under-nine, McIlroy sat down and opted for pars. He set nine straight pars before he boogging his 10th hole. He birded two holes and landed at 1 under his last hole, before an unauthorized ride built a bogey on the last hole.
Thomas & # 39; s Front Nine achievement briefly put him on the leader board with Rickie Fowler. But Thomas struggled to the rear nine, dropping two shots and drilling the last hole after burying his drive in a bunker.
Changing the shirt of the forest produced immediate if not long lasting dividends. Wood's second punch on his third hole – his first with the fresh shirt – was in the immediate vicinity of the pin. He hit the putt for Birdie and quickly returned to 2 over par.
But he made it clear after the round that he did not change shirts because of the poor start. His typical routine of putting on a new shirt before the start time was thwarted, and so he started his lap with a sweat-soaked shirt.
<p class = "Canvas Atom Canvas Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "" I usually switch from the Round, "said Woods." There was no room to change on the tenth tee. So I waited until we had a small harbor there. "" data-reactid = "34"> "I usually change before the round," Woods said. "There was no room to change on the 10th tee, so I waited until we had a small harbor there."
A bogey in 7th place brought him back to 3-over-par, but birdies in a row on his ninth and tenth hole (# 18 and # 1) Woods took away. He was visibly more relaxed about the back nine, after he had lined up two good holes.