Tiger Woods evaluates round and talks difficulty of greens at US Open

“Everything is repelling,” Tiger Woods said about the greens at Pinehurst. 
Tiger Woods - 2024 US Open
Tiger Woods - 2024 US Open / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

It was not a surprise to Tiger Woods. He expected them to be the way they have always been. Difficult, upside-down, bowl-shaped creations.

“The complexes are just so difficult and so severe that, I mean, I think 1-under par is only in fifth. There aren't that many scores that are low,” he added.

One part of his game that was good was driving. He hit 86% of fairways off the tee which equates to 12 of 14 fairways. His average distance was 317.5 yards, not bad for a 48-year-old with a very bad leg.    

“Drove it on the string all day. Unfortunately, I just didn't capitalize on it,” he admitted.

Tiger Woods was absolutely correct about that. 

He only hit 50% of the greens in regulation. 

While those two stats are kind of old school, it gives a much better idea of how a golfer is playing than the strokes gained, which is a comparison of a golfer’s play to the play of the field.   

He admitted he was not as sharp as he needed to be to score well on a course this challenging.

“In most golf courses you play, you hit shots into where it's feeding off of slopes into flags,” he explained. Those kinds of greens are called collecting designs.

“Here everything is repelling. It's just hard to get the ball on top of the shelves,” he noted. “If you miss it short side, it's an auto bogey or higher. Being aggressive to a conservative line is I think how you need to play this particular golf course.”

However, making matters more difficult, the greens were running between 13 and 14, according to the USGA.

Woods did give some further information on the state of his body. He’s continuing to improve as time goes on. But he has not played as much as he wants because he doesn’t want to injure himself before the majors.  

“It's pick your poison, right? Play a lot with the potential of not playing, or not playing and fight being not as sharp,” he said about the choices.

He suffered every golfer’s complaint: 3-putts. He said he had two or three of them in the first round.

“If I clean that up, if I get a couple iron shots not as loose as I did, I'm right there at even par,” he said. 

As everyone knows even par is not usually a bad place to be in a US Open. He would have a chance from there. As it is, he is at 4-over par and needs to find a way to improve in round two. 

Right now, Woods is in 88th place. The cut is top 60 and ties. There are 23 players in 65th place, which is 3-over par. The 2-over pars are currently in 50th.  It is just a guess, but most likely what Woods needs to do is shoot no higher than 2-over par in round two to make the cut. An even par score in the second round would be a real bonus.

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