Woods healthy, but game ragged in 3-over 74

By Jay CoffinAugust 7, 2014, 6:18 pm

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The best stat of Tiger Woods’ round? Zero winces.

That’s really the only positive news. Other than that Woods made four bogeys and only one birdie during the opening round of the PGA Championship and shot 3-over 74. In Woods’ 79 career victories on the PGA Tour, he’s never shot a score worse than 2 over in the first round.

“It wasn’t very good,” Woods said. “A lot of bad shots and I never got a putt to the hole. … I had plenty of looks to turn my round around and then post something even par, even under par.”

Expectations are always going to be massive for Woods, but, truly, it was impossible to know how he was going to play Thursday at Valhalla. Only four days ago he was wheeled off Firestone with back pain seemingly so severe that it was difficult for him to take off his shoes.

But Woods arrived here for a topsy-turvy Wednesday practice round and deemed himself pain-free and fit, believing he could contend. He arrived on the 10th tee Thursday morning to begin his round with Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington after a long warm-up session on the practice range.



Nothing was especially sharp for Woods. He made bogey on two of the first five holes – the tee shot on the par-3 11th sailed long right, and the tee shot on the par-3 14th was a fore left.

Even Woods’ lone birdie of the day was unexpected. He hit a poor approach into the 16th green, missing short and left, but he chipped in for the day’s only highlight.

After making the turn at 1 over par, Woods hit driver left off the tee on Nos. 1 and 2 and both times it led to bogey. On the par-5 seventh hole, Woods hit his tee shot so unbelievably right that he got a free drop because it hit a temporary immovable obstruction. Even still, he missed a 7-footer for birdie and settled for par.

Woods hit eight of 14 fairways, 10 of 18 greens and took 30 putts.

After the round was over, Woods said he was still pain-free and that he was only experiencing a little stiffness in his back. He skipped a session on the practice range and opted for treatment to make sure his back is ready for Round 2, which must be miles better if he plans to advance to the weekend.

“If I get under par for two rounds, that will be right in the ball game,” he said.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch.


Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.