For only the second time in his PGA Tour career, Tiger Woods won last week at the AT&T National with an opening round over par. Woods duplicated the score on Thursday in his debut at The Greenbrier Classic, but was further from the lead than a week ago.
Woods opened with 1-over 71 at the Old White TPC to trail old rival Vijay Singh by eight shots in the morning wave in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. He looked good early, starting at No. 10, with birdies in two of the first three holes. After that hot start, Woods struggled, making three bogeys, two birdies and a double-bogey 7 at the par-5 17th.
"Got a little bit stuck on the way down, hit it in the water, laid up with a 6-iron, hit a wedge just short, first putt left short going back up against the mountain," he said. "The next one (a 2-foot putt for bogey), I just blocked it. It was a simple little tap-in putt and I blocked it."
Compared to the battery of his last three starts - Muirfield Village GC, The Olympic Club and Congressional CC - the Greenbrier resort was not as firm, baffling Woods. It showed, as Woods needed 31 putts.
"I just didn't quite have my game or didn't have the speed on the greens, too," Woods said. "So it was quite a big adjustment from playing my last three events for the green speeds, so I struggled with it a little bit."
The 74-time PGA Tour winner knows he will be well behind the proverbial 8-ball for Friday's second round.
"I think most of the scores, most scores will probably at least 2-under par or better," Woods said, "and most of the guys can be pretty aggressive here."