As Tiger Woods stood in the course of the primary fairway, the very last thing on his thoughts used to be a 7.
That quantity used to be the very first thing on his scorecard Thursday within the U.S. Open.
It did not get well on his strategy to any other unsightly quantity, a first-round 78.
It wasn’t his worst opener on this match. Woods shot 80 at Chambers Bay 3 years in the past, his most up-to-date U.S. Open sooner than again surgical procedures sidelined him.
Woods rallied through taking part in the remainder of the entrance 9 at 1-under par. After that, his striking fluctuated from spotty to simply undeniable dangerous, together with 4 putts at the 13th.
Shinnecock Hills driven him round how it did such a lot of different most sensible names and meant contenders. A 15th primary championship and primary in 10 years seems past fantastic for the best golfer of his era.
Woods used to be 9 strokes out of the lead when he completed, within the corporate of Phil Mickelson (7 over), Jordan Spieth (eight over), Jason Day (nine over) and Rory McIlroy (10 over).
With the fairways and vegetables covered a half-dozen deep in spots for the marquee threesome of Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Woods, there by no means used to be a scarcity of encouraging shouts of “Tiger!” There have been audible groans, regardless that, at the opening hollow, with every of his succeeding pictures.
Woods airmailed the golf green on his way and it went down a steep hill into mild tough. His pitch were given onto the golf green, however no longer just about some distance sufficient to stick there, and rolled backpedal the hill a couple of steps to the left of the place Woods were.
Appearing no indicators of frustration, he switched to a putter for his fourth shot, however that did not come as regards to final at the striking floor, both.
A spectator mentioned “assured this one is not quick” as Woods hit shot No. five. It wasn’t, however he left himself with about 10 ft for six, and his putt brushed the opening.
When Woods went over the par-Three 2nd inexperienced together with his tee shot, a protracted, unproductive day appeared impending. He putted once more, getting to six ft, however driven the putt.
Two holes and four over on probably the most global’s maximum tough classes in as difficult a match to win as any.
Then Woods steadied. He by no means gave the look of a three-time U.S. Open winner — maximum not too long ago in 2008 — however he performed the remainder of the entrance facet in 1 below.
After Woods set the putter down in the back of his ball at the 10th inexperienced, he subsidized away when the ball moved. Below new laws, it is not a penalty, however he known as over a laws legit to verify. Then he changed the ball and made the putt for par.
Then it were given in point of fact unsightly, and the disappointment started to turn with blown putt after blown putt.
He bogeyed the tough par-Three 11th after hitting into the bunker and leaving his subsequent shot smartly in need of the pin. The four-putt used to be subsequent, at the 13th. Some other double bogey at the subsequent hollow noticed Woods strolling slowly off the golf green, reputedly overwhelmed through Shinnecock’s harsh vegetables and his failing putter.