Fryed and Frazzled


SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Tiger Woods is making his ninth PGA Tour start of the season at the Open. He's grouped with amateur Patrick Cantlay and 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen. writer Ryan Ballengee is at CordeValle Golf Club and is tracking Woods' every move during Day 1:

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8:15 p.m. ET: At the finishing hole, Woods took driver for the 12th time on the round. He hit his fifth fairway with it and his approach from there to 12 feet. Like so many strokes on the day, however, Woods burned the edged and missed the putt. Woods shoots 2-over 73 with a putting day he described to Roger Maltbie as 'the worst putting day of (his) life.' He is six shots back of Brendan Steele, Briny Baird, Garrett Willis and Matt Bettencourt. (2 over thru 18)

7:48 p.m. ET: Perhaps the Tour will move up the tee this weekend at the short par-4 17th to recapture the final-round drama there last year. But Tiger Woods may not be around to find out. He laid up into the 17th fairway and Woods' birdie bid was nowhere near the cup – misread on break and pace. A par leaves him 2 over. (2 over thru 17)

7:35 p.m. ET: Woods' misses on the day have been predominantly left, but at 14 and again at the par-3 16th, they were to the right. Going long of the green, Tiger's pitch again left him in the testy range of a half-dozen feet. After circling the entire perimeter of the cup, Woods' par putt dropped. Even with the ball underground, Woods looked at the hole and his putter with the combined look of disbelief and tempered disappointment. (2 over thru 16)

7:26 p.m. ET: Perhaps the most complete hole for Woods since the first, Tiger hit a perfect tee shot to the par-5 15th. With the green light to go for the under-GIR, Woods landed shy of the green with a tough uphill chip to a tucked pin. Woods continues to execute with proficiency with the wedges. For a second straight hole, Woods makes a 6-footer – this time for birdie. To this point, it had been the short ones for birdie that had eluded Woods. (2 over thru 15)

7:00 p.m. ET: Make it a half-dozen bunkers for Woods through 14 holes. Though the rain has slowed, it is wet and getting colder. The trio drove their balls in the same fairway bunker to the right on the par-4 14th, some 240 yards from the tee. Woods missed the green and his chip scooted by longer than he had hoped, but finally made a 6-footer – this time for par. (3 over thru 14)

6:42 p.m. ET: Perhaps Tiger Woods is taking a page from the NFL. At this pace, Woods will have no problem making the Stanford game on Saturday. The Suck for Luck campaign might be in play. Woods is 109th in the 132-man field after a par at the 13th hole. He was 116th after two rounds of the PGA Championship. (3 over thru 13)

6:25 p.m. ET: The rain has increased substantially, now at a downpour pace. With an aggressiveness perhaps born out of frustration, Woods pulled his drive left and into the red stake hazard. Woods was forced to go backward some 120 yards and take a drop. Woods gave up two shots with a double bogey at the 12th, leaving Woods near the bottom of the field. (3 over thru 12)

5:59 p.m. ET: As the clouds roll in for the second storm of the afternoon, Woods seemed to feed off of the par save at 10. A low, boring draw at the 236-yard par-3 11th yielded his best birdie chance since No. 1. Like the ninth, however, the standard bearer needn't change his board thanks to a short miss. Another par for Woods at 11. (1 over thru 11)

5:48 p.m. ET: Through 10 holes, Woods has been in half as many bunkers. He found himself in the left bunker off the tee and came up short of the green with his second. Grinding the most since the fifth hole over his bid to get up-and-down, it pays off for Tiger and he pars No. 10. (1 over thru 10)

5:33 p.m. ET: On each of the last two holes, a member of the gallery has made a comment that Woods is not playing golf like the golden days. A pushed birdie attempt that didn't even hit the hole at the par-5 ninth might confirm what the fans are saying. Woods makes the turn at 1 over and dead last in his group, but in a speedy 2 hours, 15 minutes. (1 over thru 9)

5:12 p.m. ET: After his best drive of the day and leaving a perfect angle to the green, Woods hit a disappointing approach that was downhill with an 8-iron. After the shot, Woods stared toward the hills and then at the ground with disbelief. He ended up making par on the hole. (1 over thru 8)

4:55 p.m. ET: The shortish par-3 seventh featured a putt-putt pin over a little hill, inaccessible without a bold shot to challenge the back of the green. None of the three had the gumption and none were able to get their first putt to the hole. (1 over thru 7)

4:46 p.m. ET: The scene has the feel of a U.S. Amateur final match - modest crowd, not much noise. CordeValle is dead silent for the most part, which is odd to have it set in a valley to echo noise. 

4:42 p.m. ET: Woods mistook CordeValle's sixth hole for a beach off the tee. Hard not to sympathize since it is simultaneously sunny and spitting rain, with 15-degree temperature swings common. He's 3 down to the world's top amateur after three consecutive pars. (1 over thru 6)

4:24 p.m. ET: 'Definitely a pop-up.' That's what Roger Maltbie said of Woods' tee shot at the fifth. Woods took an enormous divot with a fairways wood off the tee and was nearly a full wedge behind his playing partners. He still managed to make par. (1 over thru 5)

4:09 p.m. ET: Despite his worst drive of the short round, Woods has his first number on the card without a shape around it. Woods' chipping is on point, and he has not had a putt longer than 5 feet so far. He's 4 of 5 from short range. (1 over thru 4)

3:58 p.m. ET: As rain falls light and steady, the crowd murmurs about the weather and Woods' third straight errant tee shot. Woods is fading early, not showing much fine tuning. 

3:51 p.m. ET: The green at the par-3 third has a ridge back right that can funnel a tee shot to the left pin location. Woods did not use it and took the more aggressive route to the hole. He didn't execute his tee shot and paid the price. After missing the green and chipping up, his par putt horseshoed out. (1 over thru 3)

3:41 p.m. ET: Woods hit into 22 bunkers at the PGA Championship, including 14 in the first round. He found two in a row at the second hole today, double-dipping once greenside on his way to a bogey. (Even thru 2)

3:24 p.m. ET: Woods opened flawlessly to a crowd lining the first hole. To an airborne shout of 'Get in the hole!', Woods hit a confident, low short-iron to gimme range. He made the birdie putt. (1 under thru 1)

2:58 p.m. ET: Woods is mixing practice with pleasure, catching up with Chris Riley and Paul Casey - the highest-ranked player in the field - while putting. No half-mallet for Woods. He's using the Nike Method similar to his beloved Scotty Cameron.

2:50 p.m. ET: Expecting cool conditions in the valley, Woods is wearing a white turtleneck, navy blue vest and the Nike prototype shoes he has donned since Firestone. New caddie Joe LaCava is decked out in Nike garb as well.

2:45 p.m. ET: Woods just walked off the driving range at CordeValle, followed by a throng of about 100 people. He headed from the range, nestled in the property's surrounding hillside, to the practice green.