If you were hoping for a storybook ending to Tiger Woods playing in the 150th Open Championship at the historic St. Andrews Golf Links, you’re probably as disappointed as he is with his first round.
Tiger’s round got off to a TERRIBLE start when he hit his tee shot down the center of the first fairway only to find the middle of a divot. This writer personally believes players should get relief from that, but that’s a story for another day.
Tiger did not get relief from the divot and proceeded to mishit his second shot, sending the ball into the water. He wound up with a double-bogey on the first hole, and it didn’t get much better from there.
A par on the second hole was followed by back-to-back bogeys to fall to four-over. He didn’t make his first birdie until the ninth hole, but the damage had been done. He shot a five-over 41 on the front nine.
He started the back-nine the way he ended the front: with a birdie. Back-to-back birdies had fans thinking the momentum was shifting, but it was not to be. Tiger would bogey 11 and 13 to drop to six-over.
If there was one big highlight, it was his birdie on the par-5 14th hole where he hit a BOMB of a drive that ended up rolling out to 412 yards. It was the longest tee shot of the day on hole 14 by any player.
He would give that shot back on 16 with another bogey. He had a chance to get it back to five-over with a short birdie putt on 18, but he sailed it past the cup and finished with a disappointing round of 78.
Just seven players posted a worse first round score than the three-time Open Champion. Woods’ first round was a far cry from his two previous Open victories at St. Andrews; he shot a first-round 67 in 2000 and a 66 in 2005.
The 78 tied for his worst round at this venue – his previous 78 came as a 19-year-old amateur in the 1995 Open Championship. He missed the cut there in the 2015 Open with rounds of 76-75 and it appears another missed cut is in his very near future.
Datagolf has Tiger’s chances to make the cut at 2.4%, with a 0% chance to win. We wrote earlier in the week about him getting the tough late-early draw, but the good news is that he’ll be able to get a flight out of Scotland and back to the US sooner rather than later.