Tiger grimaces his way through a 78 to all but sink Open chances

Tiger Woods in jovial meed

Tiger Woods more than likely won’t be a factor at Royal Portrush this week, after an opening 78 left him right near the bottom of the leaderboard.

Much had been made of Woods’ lack of match practice heading into this year’s Open, with many questioning why the Masters champion was choosing to head to Portrush so undercooked after nearly a month off.

Judging by the way he grimaced through several of his shots on Thursday, it seems as if Woods may be hiding some sort of injury, possibly his bad back flaring up again.

Prior to the start of the tournament he spoke about needing to manage his schedule to minimise the impact on his body, although he didn’t reveal any injuries.

Whatever the case, he looked completely out of sorts in his first round, as he mixed six bogeys and a double with a solitary birdie to finish 12 shots off the pace.


Nothing really worked for him on the day. He was inconsistent off tee, his ball-striking was poor and he had precious little to smile about on the greens.

After his round, Woods admitted he wasn’t 100% fit.

“It was a pretty good start but downhill from there,” he said. “I was trying to piece together a swing to get me around the golf course.

“I’m not moving as well as I’d like. Certain shots I just can’t hit. Father time, the procedures I’ve had… just the way it’s going to be from here on out. It’s why I’m not playing as often anymore on the PGA Tour.”

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