When the world’s number one golfer teed it up on Thursday afternoon at The Players Championship, he was already down nine strokes. Tiger Woods shoots a respectable 67 at TPC Sawgrass to get a piece of fourth place. He was bogey free until the 18th hole, but the Golf God got him for a stroke on the golf course’s toughest hole before he could get to the clubhouse.
Starting his day on the front nine, Tiger got off to a decent start, with a quick birdie at the par five second hole. The second hole is one of the easier holes at the famous Pete Dye layout, and one more at nine. Tiger was -55 on the par fives before play began in round one, and his success on the big holes would continue. He birdied all four on a day where he was getting the ball in the fairway almost 75% of the time.
Woods went on a run with the birdie at nine, and got a total of four in a row going down the stretch. He made one more at 16 to get to -6 under par, and into a tie with Rory McIlroy, and 2007 Masters Champ, Zach Johnson before making bogey at 18. He made some long putts during the round to both save par, and make his birdies. He got around averaging 1.5 putts per green, and only gained .285 strokes per round putting. He will need to improve that number if he wants to add to his Waterford Crystal collection.
Tiger played his round with Brandt Snedeker, and defending 2012 Players champ, Matt Kuchar. Snedeker was up and down all day, and finished with a -1 under 71. Kuchar played clean until he got to the 15th hole where he picked up one of two bogeys on the afternoon, and also finished with a -1 under 71.
Tiger Woods looks like he has his head, and golf swing tuned up, and looks to be ready to take charge of this tournament if any of the leaders stumble. He will play in the afternoon on Friday, and will have to finish on the front nine where the going could get rough is the wind were to pick up. He will play in the morning, and maybe he can get in before it starts to blow. Traditionally, Tiger likes to move on moving day. That will be the key to putting his second Players Championship on his resume.
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