Woods plays shaky front nine


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Tiger Woods has plunged to 3 over at the turn after an error-strewn outward nine.

He hit just one fairway on the back nine (his front nine) and just three greens in regulation. Dry statistics, however, don't reveal the full extent of his struggles. Woods was often further left than Karl Marx. At the par-4 16th he yanked his drive left but found a perfect lie in the short rough, while Stewart Cink's ball ended just a few yards away lodged against the base of a tree, from where he could only pitch back to the fairway.

Woods, however, was able to make a full swing, but he pulled his ball left and it took a friendly bounce, leaving him with a relatively easy up-and-down for par. But he wasn't so fortunate on the difficult par-3 17th, making a horrible swing. His ball had water written all over it all the way, landing about 5 yards left of dry land. It's hard to get a good bounce off the water.

Woods reloaded from the forward tee and two-putted from 20 feet for a double bogey.

With his confidence at a low ebb, he stepped to the elevated tee at the par-4 18th and promptly pulled his drive into the creek that snakes adjacent to the left side of the fairway. Another bogey ensued, leaving Woods near the tail of the field as he began the easier front nine. At least, however, there were no outbursts of anger, although maybe it's a matter of time if he can't get rid of his leftist leanings very quickly.