FINAL UPDATE:Tiger shoots a 77, his worst opening round ever at the PGA Championship. (Actually, his worst ever in a major.)
He’s 7-over par, below where the cut line would likely be (Stricker is threatening the course record right now) so Tiger has A LOT of work to do tomorrow just to stay alive.
And don’t forget … Tiger was 3-under par at one point. That means he was +10 over the last 13 holes. (8 of those holes were over par, including 3 double bogeys.) His drives were all over the place, his putter didn’t help him, and he simply could not stay out of the hazards all day. One of his worst major rounds ever.
And he has to do it again tomorrow.
Tiger Woods is off to fantastic start at the PGA Championship.
Woods has three birdies in the first five holes, putting him one shot off the early pace.
Ross Fisher who is one hole ahead, is also one shot ahead, with a quick 4-under score.
Television coverage doesn’t start until 1:00 p.m. ET, but you can watch Woods and his playing partners on a a special “marquee group” feed at PGATour.com.
He can also see the full leaderboard here. Lots of low numbers early.
10:03am | Back to the pack
Fisher just bogeyed his last hole, so there is now a four-way tie for first, with him, Woods, Brendan Steele and Steve Strcker, who birdied all three of his first three holes.
However, all four of those players started on the 10th hole at Atlanta Athletic Club, and now are now headed toward 15, 16, 17, and 18, four holes that Tiger said this week are the toughest finishing holes in golf right now. So we’ll see if those low scores hold up.
10:07am | Water!
Tiger just put his tee shot in the water on the 260-yard, par-3 15th. His playing partner, Davis Love III, skies his shot into the trees on the far left. Their third, Padraig Harrington, misses the green by a mile as well.
10:11am | Go big.
At 260 yards, the 15th at Atlanta is the longest par 3 in PGA Championship history.
10:15am | Double bogey.
Tiger’s drops and hits on the green, then two putts for a double bogey. Back to 1-under.
10:25am | The nightmare hole?
Tiger puts his tee shot on 16 into a fairway bunker. Of the 16 players to play the 16th hole so far today, 8 have bogeyed. Looks like big trouble again.
10:33am | &#%$!~!!.
Another tough shot. Tiger shouts “goddamn it” as he hits second shot out of the bunker and all the way to the far side of the fairway. Still a good 20-30 yards from the green.
10:37am | Bad to worse.
Tiger chips into a green side bunker then finally gets on in four. Sinks the bogey putt to drop to even par.
10:42am | In other news.
Bubba Watson (also starting on the back nine) birdies four holes in a row to take the lead.
10:45am | Video update.
Here’s a video of Tiger’s second shot on 16. You can clearly hear him yell “god damn it” as his shot sails wide.
10:55am | Green troubles.
There was a bit of a controversy last night as groundskeepers accidentally tore up portions of the 14th and 17th greens during some last minute mowing. Not enough damage to effect the tournament too much, but players who end up near the rough spots may be able to seek relief on their putts.
According to Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman, one PGA official says “It’s like cutting your face w/ razor on your wedding day.” Ouch.
10:59am | Four killer holes.
More trouble on 18 for Tiger. Buried his tee shot in a bunker, then has trouble getting back on the fairway.
11:09am | AAC’s finish claims its first victim.
Tiger adds another double bogey on 18. He -3 through his first 5 holes, then shot +5 on the last four holes to drop to +2 on the tourney. Can he gather himself of the back (front) nine and get back to negative number?
11:15am | Another leader goes down.
Ross Fisher, who briefly led at -4, also got burnt on the Final Four. Bogeyed 16 and 18, then bogeyed 2, to fall to -1.
11:28am | Another shot lost.
Tiger still a little wild on the 1st hole, then misses a par putt by inches. +3. Bubba Watson and Steve Stricker remain tied for the lead at -4.
11:31am | Correction.
Bubba Watson bogeys 18, leaving Stricker in the lead by himself.
11:32am | Drive for show.
Tiger finally gets a good drive, crushing his tee shot on 2 down the centre of the fairway.
11:47am | MELTDOWN.
ANOTHER bogey on 2. Tiger is now +4. He’s bogey five of the last six holes, and two of them were doubles. This is officially a collapse.
11:53am | BIGGER MELTDOWN.
How bad is it for Tiger right now? He can’t even collapse the best. Ryo Ishikawa, who was fantastic at Bridgestone last week, is +15 through 15 holes. He’s been over par on 8 of the holes with 5 double bogeys and an a triple. Awful day.
12:00pm | Finally.
Tiger manages a par at the third hole. Still +4 for the day.
12:01pm | The leader.
Steve Stricker opens up a two-shot lead. +5 on the day and all alone in first place.
12:11pm | Worse and worse.
Tiger drives to sand trap on the par-3 fourth. Tough up and down leaves him with another bogey, his sixth of the round. +5 on the round.
12:15pm | Missing the cut?
Stricker moves to -6 with another birdie on 1. Tiger now 11 shots off the pace. If he’s doesn’t get his act together he’s not even going to make the cut tomorrow.
12:29pm | He’s back!
Tiger finally gets a birdie on the par-5 fifth hole. Comeback alert?
12:40pm | Off the rails … again.
Forget about that comeback. On the par-4 6th, Tiger puts his drive in a fairway bunker, then puts his second shot in the water. Day (and maybe the tournament) is over.
12:41pm | Another double.
Tiger shorts his bogey putt. His third double bogey of the day, gives back the birdie plus one. He’s tied for 68th, at +6. Stricker still at 6-under.
12:46pm | FedEx Cup over too.
In case you’re the kind of person who cares about such things, Tiger needs to finish in the top 14 this weekend to earn enough points to compete in the FedEx Cup playoffs. That seems like a pretty long shot at this point.
12:52pm | Par.
Tiger manages a par on the par-3 7. Two more holes to go.
12:57pm | More sand
Looks like Tiger found another fairway bunker. 5 of 13 on fairways hit today.
1:05pm | A good finish?
Tiger unleashes his best shot of the day, out of the bunker to green. About a 30-foot putt for birdie just misses the lip, but he gets par. On to the last hole of the day.
1:13pm | The lead grows.
Another birdie for Steve Stricker sends the leader to -7.
1:14pm | Still wild.
Another tee shot, another fairway bunker for Tiger. Ouch.
1:19pm | Yet more sand.
Tiger comes up short on his second shot, ends up in another greenside bunker.
1:22pm | The chip.
Tiger skies his bunker shot, ends up on the back of the green. 25 feet or so for par.
1:24pm | One for the road.
Just misses the put and rolls past the cup. One more bogey to finish the round at +7.
1:24pm | A disastrous day.
Tiger shoots a 77, his worst opening round ever at the PGA Championship. (Actually, his worst ever in a major. He’s 7-over par, below where the cut line would likely be (Stricker is threatening the course record right now) so he has A LOT of work to do tomorrow just to stay alive. And don’t forget … Tiger was 3-under par at one point. That means he was +10 over the last 13 holes. (8 of them were over par, including 3 double bogeys.) His drives were all over the place, his putter didn’t help him, and he simply could not stay out of the hazards all day. One of his worst major rounds ever. And he has to do it again tomorrow.