Truth be known, Tiger Woods has broken 70 in the first round only once in his 19 starts at The Players Championship.
Tiger opened with 67 in 2013 and went on to win the championship. He hasn’t gone sub-70 on day one since.
He had a great opportunity on Thursday.
Woods started without any fireworks as the afternoon winds began to gain some stream. He went off in the afternoon wave and turned even par over his first nine holes.
“I hit some bad shots early and made some adjustments,” Woods said, referring to his first two tee shots, both were big hooks.
His second nine was a total wild ride. “I made one par, it was interesting,” Woods said after finding five birdies and three bogeys coming home.
Woods steadied himself late and birdied the par five 16th, his only birdie on the par fives where he played in even par. At the 17th, his sand wedge barely found land but the gamble paid off and he holed the birdie putt from just inside 14 feet.
Tiger’s bogey at the 18th was an unforced error. After a perfect three-wood off the tee, his eight-iron didn’t hold the green and he had was looked like a routine chip from below the putting surface. His shot left him four-feet for par and he pulled it badly.
Afterward Woods insisted he putted well, despite having 30 putts. “I thought I putted well today. I just wish the putt had gone in on the last hole. It was tricky out there today, the greens were bumpier down the stretch. I’m looking forward to getting out early tomorrow and try to post a good score then see what those guys can do in the afternoon winds.”