Tiger Woods frustrating PGA Championship finish leaves him out of contention

May 16, 2024 | Sports | 0 comments

Tiger Woods walks off the 9th green after the first round of the 2024 PGA Championship. | Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Tiger Woods showed flashes of brilliance but a frustrating end to his opening round has him nowhere near the top of the leaderboard.

Tiger Woods fought his way around Valhalla for the first 16 holes on Thursday at the PGA Championship, making putts when he needed to while avoiding big mistakes.

He sat at 1-under for the championship when he arrived at the par-3 8th, fresh off a birdie at the 7th, where he holed a 13-footer.

But his putter let him down over the final two holes. Two poor three-putts on the 8th and 9th holes dropped Woods from 1-under to 1-over, as he carded a 1-over 72 on Thursday to sit 10 strokes behind leader Xander Schauffele.

“Major championships are a long grind,” Woods said.

“It’s just plotting along. It’s not a sprint. It’s just a grind.”

Woods has now put more pressure on himself to play well on Friday. Given the soft conditions at Valhalla and the low scores it has yielded, the 36-hole cut will likely sit under par—a rarity in a major championship. The scoring average is also hovering around even par midway through the first round.

That means Woods will need to shoot a low score on Friday to make the weekend.

“You can’t win a tournament unless you make the cut,” Woods said.

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Tiger Woods eyes his putt on the 9th green.

“The whole idea is to get to the weekend so that you can participate and have a chance to win. I’ve been on the cut number and have won tournaments, or I’ve been ahead and leading tournaments, and I’ve won tournaments. But you have to get to the weekend in order to win a golf tournament.”

Woods would know better than anyone, having won 82 times on the PGA Tour, including 15 major championship victories. But his chances of making the cut this weekend diminished thanks to his pair of three-putts.

“Bad speed on 8; whipped it past the hole,” Woods explained.

“And 9, hit it short. Hit it off the heel of the putt and blocked the second one. So wasn’t very good on the last two holes.”

Yet, his putter cooperated early, specifically on the 11th and 12th holes, where he saved bogey and par, respectively. He could have easily walked to the 13th hole at 3-over par for the championship, but luckily for him, he mitigated the damage.

He then made birdie at 13 to get back to even, which steadied his round.

“It took me probably three holes to get back into competitive flow again and get a feel for hitting the ball out there in competition, adrenaline, temperatures, green speeds,” Woods said.

“These are all things that normally I adjust to very quickly, and it just took me a few holes to get into it.”

He lost that feel down the stretch, too, but hopefully, for his sake, he regains his touch on Friday. He will need to or else Woods will head home early.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

[#item_full_content]Tiger Woods walks off the 9th green after the first round of the 2024 PGA Championship. | Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Tiger Woods showed flashes of brilliance but a frustrating end to his opening round has him nowhere near the top of the leaderboard. Tiger Woods fought his way around Valhalla for the first 16 holes on Thursday at the PGA Championship, making putts when he needed to while avoiding big mistakes.
He sat at 1-under for the championship when he arrived at the par-3 8th, fresh off a birdie at the 7th, where he holed a 13-footer.
But his putter let him down over the final two holes. Two poor three-putts on the 8th and 9th holes dropped Woods from 1-under to 1-over, as he carded a 1-over 72 on Thursday to sit 10 strokes behind leader Xander Schauffele.
“Major championships are a long grind,” Woods said.
“It’s just plotting along. It’s not a sprint. It’s just a grind.”
Woods has now put more pressure on himself to play well on Friday. Given the soft conditions at Valhalla and the low scores it has yielded, the 36-hole cut will likely sit under par—a rarity in a major championship. The scoring average is also hovering around even par midway through the first round.
That means Woods will need to shoot a low score on Friday to make the weekend.
“You can’t win a tournament unless you make the cut,” Woods said.

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Tiger Woods eyes his putt on the 9th green.

“The whole idea is to get to the weekend so that you can participate and have a chance to win. I’ve been on the cut number and have won tournaments, or I’ve been ahead and leading tournaments, and I’ve won tournaments. But you have to get to the weekend in order to win a golf tournament.”
Woods would know better than anyone, having won 82 times on the PGA Tour, including 15 major championship victories. But his chances of making the cut this weekend diminished thanks to his pair of three-putts.
“Bad speed on 8; whipped it past the hole,” Woods explained.
“And 9, hit it short. Hit it off the heel of the putt and blocked the second one. So wasn’t very good on the last two holes.”
Yet, his putter cooperated early, specifically on the 11th and 12th holes, where he saved bogey and par, respectively. He could have easily walked to the 13th hole at 3-over par for the championship, but luckily for him, he mitigated the damage.
He then made birdie at 13 to get back to even, which steadied his round.
“It took me probably three holes to get back into competitive flow again and get a feel for hitting the ball out there in competition, adrenaline, temperatures, green speeds,” Woods said.
“These are all things that normally I adjust to very quickly, and it just took me a few holes to get into it.”
He lost that feel down the stretch, too, but hopefully, for his sake, he regains his touch on Friday. He will need to or else Woods will head home early.
Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.SBNation.com – All Posts

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