Woods laments putting after first-round struggle
Tiger Woods lamented his putting after carding an eight-over 78 in tough conditions during the first round of the U.S. Open on Thursday.
Hype around Woods' return to Shinnecock Hills for the third time in his career reached fever pitch with the 14-time major champion back in form, but it was quickly derailed.
Woods started the day with a triple-bogey seven on the opening hole, and followed it up with a bogey. He rebounded in the middle of his round, but back-to-back double bogeys on the back nine sent him near the back of the pack.
"I didn't putt well today, and I thought I hit it – I drove it pretty darn good for most of the day. Just never really took advantage of the opportunities," Woods said after his round. "Making a triple and two doubles, not very good.
"It's tough out there. But, I mean, shouldn't make two doubles and a triple, four-putt. Number one, I hit it right through the wind compounding my problem. I actually hit a really good flop shot. The wind actually knocked it down, didn't carry it.
"Then hit two bad putts on one and two. For most of the day, I just didn't putt well."
Woods, who has not won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open, finished the round outside the top 100.
This was the sixth time in Woods' career he has carded three double bogeys or worse in a single round. The only other time he had done it in a major was in the first round of the 2011 US PGA Championship. He has never had four double bogeys in a round, regardless of tournament.
"All I had to do was just try to shoot – after that start, shoot even par for the next 16 holes, and I'd be just fine," Woods said. "The guys aren't going anywhere today. We saw this, I think, one under is leading right now. So just kind of keep hanging in there. I kept reminding myself that Lanny [Wadkins] almost pulled himself in a play-off in '86 with a round in the mid-60s on Sunday. So it can be done. This golf course is kind of setting up for that right now."
While Woods will now have a tough fight to make the cut, he remained optimistic about his chances to see the weekend.
"Shoot something in the 60s tomorrow, and I'll be just fine. I just think today was the toughest day we'll have all week," he said.
"But then again, I think they're going to let these greens firm out a little bit. They'll start to pick up a little bit of speed, and it will be a good U.S. Open again."