Tiger Woods is back in action, and here’s how he’s doing at the PGA Championship

Tiger Woods is back in action, and here’s how he’s doing at the PGA Championship

Tiger Woods wandering the Southern Hills Country Club alone at the PGA Championship would spark interest. But for the first two rounds of the year’s second major, Woods will be in the marquee band of marquee bands – with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth at his side.

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Woods enters the event admittedly stronger than he was a month ago at the Masters, where he made his return to competitive golf after a 14-month absence due to a car accident in February 2021 which almost cost him his right leg.

So can he fight? Woods also said he only enters a tournament if he thinks he can win.

We map his every move in the first round of the PGA Championship:

No. 10: Par 4, 376 yards

There are still 71 holes to go, but Woods’ first PGA Championship hole couldn’t have gone better. He struck out a 3-wood from 339 yards, which, of course, was accompanied by a club whirlwind.

He then perfectly executed a small corner of 95 meters at 3 feet. This putt was right in the center and he started his tour around the Southern Hills with a perfect birdie.

Rating: Birdie

Total: 1 penny

No. 11: Par 3, 173 yards

Woods took a conservative approach on his second hole of the day, hitting a solid 8-iron to the middle of the green. He delayed his birdie putt to the kicking range. Two holes and no drama so far.

Score: normal

Total: 1 penny

No. 12: Par 4, 461 yards

The stinger made his first appearance at this PGA Championship. Woods drilled a low iron off the tee. Meanwhile, Spieth and McIlroy punched pilots. The difference? Woods’ tee shot traveled 273 yards; Spieth hammered his 328 yards and McIlroy hammered his 354 yards. From 195 yards, Woods controlled a perfect approach that never left the flag. Woods slammed his 20-footer for a birdie on the break and had to settle for par.

Score: normal

Total: 1 penny

No. 13: Par 5, 632 yards

Woods’ first rider of the day looked as slick as all the swings that came before it. Woods drops a 353 yards down the left side. Again, however, he sat well behind the tee shots of Spieth and McIlroy, who both tried to get home in twos at par-5. Woods lay at a comfortable distance – he had 85 yards on his third shot – then made a huge mistake. He airmailed a small wedge—virtually the same shot he stuffed on the first hole—into the back bunker.

Woods reached par with a perfect bunker shot. But given where he was after 2 shots, it was more stress than he liked in the 13th.

Score: normal

Total: 1 penny

No. 14: Par 3, 230 yards

During a long wait off the tee, Woods finished a big sandwich that had social media buzzing.

Once the wait was over and the late breakfast was over, Woods got up and hit another crisp iron. He rolled home the 13-footer for his second birdie of the round. However, he is not the best player in his group. McIlroy dropped a 25-footer for his third straight birdie.

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0:19

Tiger Woods drops to 2 under par with a long birdie putt on hole 14.

Rating: Birdie

Total: 2 pennies

No. 15: Par 4, 417 yards

Nothing about that hole went well for Woods. He tried to hit another stinger off the tee, but this one fled straight into the rough. The second shot landed in the front bunker. The breath of the sand has sailed far too far. Two putts later and Woods walked away with his first bogey of the tournament. Meanwhile, McIlroy’s heat continued with a fourth straight birdie.

Result: Bogey

Total: 1 penny

No. 16: Par 4, 522 yards

Woods always made sure to think his way around a golf course, especially during major championships. He knew what he was doing with his tee shot on the 16th, hitting a soft cut that came to rest just yards from the fairway bunker. From there, he hit a safe iron to the middle of the green and putt two for a par at the monstrously long par-4.

Score: normal

Total: 1 penny

No. 17: Par 4, 371 yards

Sure, the 17 is the shortest par-4 on the course, but it caught the players’ attention. Why? The wind picked up. “It’s as strong as it gets,” McIlroy told caddie Harry Diamond. Woods, after a sure stinger from the tee, had just 113 yards left to play. Normally he would have been disappointed with what happened – a wedge that settled on the fringe, 15 feet from the hole. But with this wind, this approach was good. One more revolution and the birdie putt would have dropped. Instead, he sat right next to it.

Score: normal

Total: 1 penny

No. 18: Par 4, 491 yards

Another good drive from Woods. But he was not happy with his second shot. Almost instantly after impact, he angrily swung his club back and slammed it into the ground. He knew what was coming. The approach pull hook jumped into the back bunker. To make matters worse – much worse – Woods appeared to be limping more than he had all day as he made his way to the last green on that side. He hit a dodgy bunker shot and walked away with a bogey for an even front nine. But now all the attention is on his health and how that surgically repaired leg will hold up.

Result: Bogey

Total: even

No. 1: Par 4, 451 yards

Woods’ back nine didn’t start well. It’s never good when a tee shot comes to rest just behind a tree. Having no other choice, he couldn’t even try to hit the green. He stopped short and went, then hit an OK pitch into the green. But the end result was a second consecutive bogey and a third in five holes. As strong as he seemed at first, Woods’ game began to wane as he deepened in his opening round. Moreover, he heads for the second hole, his 11th of the day, 5 shots behind McIlroy, who is the leader.

Result: Bogey

Total: 1 more

No. 2: Par 4, 480 yards

There are two distinct things going on in this group: McIlroy is hot; The woods are withering. McIlroy rolled in another birdie, his fifth of the day, while Woods ran his birdie putt a mile away 10 feet past the hole. Woods couldn’t convert and it was yet another bogey, his third in a row.

Result: Bogey

Total: 2 more

No. 3: Par 4, 444 yards

With just about everything going wrong, Woods desperately needed something good to happen. And it finally happened. He split the fairway with his tee shot. The approach shot was even better. He controlled the trajectory and spin with the swirling wind, and the ball settled 4 feet from the hole.

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The beautiful stroke of Tiger Woods allows him to finish with a birdie on the third hole of the PGA Championship.

Rating: Birdie

Total: 1 more

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