SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Another major round only led to more frustration for Tiger Woods.
Woods took 33 swipes with the putter on his way to a 3-over 75 Thursday that left him nine shots back during the first round of the PGA Championship. It was his second-highest opening score of his PGA career.
After missing the cut in both summer Opens for the first time as a pro, Woods could be on his way to another early exit at Whistling Straits if he doesn’t post a low score Friday. When he finished his round, he was tied for 117th.
Woods is now a combined 27 over par over his last six major rounds.
He said his main problem Thursday was his speed on the greens. Woods made only 59 feet of putts – leader Dustin Johnson, for instance, made 101 feet – and lost more than two-and-a-half strokes to the field.
“It was one of the worst putting rounds I’ve had in a very long time,” he said.
Just like at the Quicken Loans, Woods claimed that he had “complete control” of his ball and struck it well. He hit only 12 greens and half of the fairways in the first round here.
And so continues the theme of Woods’ season: Rarely, if ever, has his long game and putting clicked at the same time.
“I’ve had good putting rounds and I had bad ball-striking days on those days and then the flip side of it,” he said. “I’ve just got to get a combo right and then have it for three more days.”
Woods needs to finish first or second this week to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs, unless he adds next week’s Wyndham Championship at Friday’s deadline. That no longer seems like a possibility.
“The season is pretty much over very soon,” he said. “The year is not. There’s plenty of golf to be played globally.”