If there is one thing we’ve learned in Tiger Woods’ two starts on the PGA Tour in 2018, it’s that he’s not afraid to grind out an uneven round.
And if there are two things we’ve learned in Tiger Woods’ two starts on the PGA Tour in 2018, it’s that he’s not afraid to grind out an uneven round and he’s struggling with his driver off of the tee. We saw both of those lessons manifest themselves on Thursday at the Genesis Open.
Following an encouraging and surgical birdie of the short, but diabolical par-4 10th hole — his first hole of the day — Woods fell victim to a bizarre circumstance on the very next tee box, which would eventually lead to a double-bogey 7.
Starting on No. 10, Tiger Woods began birdie, double bogey, bogey before fighting back to finish at 1-over 72. Woods’ errant drive on No. 11 forced him to return to the tee after his ball was lost in a eucalyptus tree. Woods hit 8 of 14 fairways, 7 of 18 greens and had 25 putts
— Ron Mintz (@MintzGolf) February 16, 2018
Even hours after losing his ball into the canopy of a eucalyptus tree during the opening round of the Genesis Open, Tiger Woods could barely hide his frustration behind a wry grin.
“I wasn’t very happy,” Woods said simply.
Woods was coming off a birdie on No. 10, his opening hole of the tournament, when he pushed his drive on the par-5 11th. He expected to find the ball somewhere in the right rough, but instead was informed that the ball never came down from one of the towering trees lining the fairway and had to return to the tee.
He ended up making a double bogey, stunting the momentum from his opening birdie en route to a 1-over 72.
“Eucalyptus [trees] don’t normally keep golf balls, but this one did,” Woods said. “The last time it probably happened was at Olympic (2012 U.S. Open). Granted, those are cypress trees, I believe, and they usually swallow everything up.”
Oh man… the ball stayed up in a gum tree. @TigerWoods returns to the tee to play his third at 11.
— Ben Everill (@BEverillPGATOUR) February 15, 2018
Woods is serving double duty this week as both tournament host and participant, teeing it up at Riviera Country Club for the first time since 2006. Despite an early-morning tee time, Woods drew plenty of fans to his former hometown event as he played alongside Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.
While McIlroy described Woods’ shot on No. 11 as “unlucky,” Thomas explained that it was a scenario he feared as soon as the ball left the club.
“It’s going to sound really weird, but I swear as that ball’s going over there I thought in my head, ‘I hope that doesn’t get stuck in a tree,’ because that happens out here,” Thomas said. “Then he’s driving back to the tee and I’m like, ‘Holy crap, it actually did get stuck in a tree.’”
Woods enters the second round just inside the cut line, but a solid round on Friday will guarantee him a pair of weekend tee times. Here are his complete first-round highlights from the PGA Tour.
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