Tiger Woods has a rough round with an iron, shooting 4 times at the US Open

PINHURST, N.C. — Tiger Woods chose the wrong course to have a bad round with his irons.

The 15-time major champion hit 12 of 14 fairways in the first round of the 124th U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 on Thursday. But Woods’ irons didn’t connect on a course that required precision because of the complex green and dramatic runoff, and he missed 9 of 18 greens en route to a 4-over 74.

“I didn’t hit my irons very well,” Woods said. “I didn’t play that great. I moved it on the string all day. Unfortunately, I didn’t take advantage of that.”

Woods, a three-time U.S. Open champion, was tied for 54th when he came out, nine strokes behind leader Patrick Cantlay, who opened with a five-under 65.

“I was a little conservative on some of the finish points,” Woods said. “And again, I didn’t hit the ball very well either. It led too far from the flag. That wasn’t where I wanted to be on a lot of holes. It ended up being that far. Far away because I wasn’t as sharp as I needed to be.” I be.”

Woods gave his fans a promising start when he made a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 10, his first hole of the tour, to move to one under. At the par-4 12th, he made a 10-footer to save par, followed by an 8-footer on the 13th to remain 1 under.

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Things fell apart once he reached 14th place. Woods missed the fairway first off the tee, then had to pull away from the green. He barely missed 20 feet and made bogey fall for par.

On the par-3 17th, Woods three-putted from 47 feet for bogey. After making the turn at one, Woods three-putted from 38 feet on No. 1. After another bogey on the second and a par on the third, Woods had a stunning putt from a greenside bunker but missed 4½ feet for par for a bogey on No. 4.

Woods had par-fived from No. 16 to No. 4. He bounced back to make a birdie on the fifth, barely missing 30 feet for eagle.

“This golf course is all about the greens,” Woods said. “The complexes are so tough and so intense that I think 1 under par is only fifth place [place]. There aren’t a lot of low scores.

“It’s hard to get the ball closer. On most golf courses you play, you hit the ball where it’s feeding off the slopes onto the flags, as you collect the ball. Here everything is off-putting. It’s hard to rack the ball.”

Woods, 48, has not broken the par on a major tour since a 1-under 69 in the second round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Golf & Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His 11 consecutive rounds in the majors without breaking par is the longest streak of his career, according to data from ESPN Stats & Information.

Woods has work to do on Friday if he is to avoid missing out on a chance to win a second straight major championship. He knows it won’t be easy, given the conditions at Pinehurst No. 2.

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“It could go too far the other way here, the wrong way,” Woods said. “It’s very difficult to come back. This golf course doesn’t give up a lot of birdies. It gives up a lot of bogeys and overs. I thought I did the only thing I had to do today, which was drive the ball well, and I did that, and I didn’t take advantage.” “None of it.”

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