Woods, after shooting an uneven opening-round 2-over-par 74, is in jeopardy of missing back-to-back cuts in consecutive tournaments for the first time in his career.
Woods’ missed cut at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow was just the eighth of his professional career, dating back to 1996. He enters today’s second round tied for 100th. The top 70 players plus ties make the cut after the second round.
STRUGGLING: Tiger Woods looks on with concern after hitting his tee shot on the 15th hole in yesterday’s first round of The Players Championship.
So Woods, who will tee off at 1:49 p.m., has some work to do.
For the struggling Woods, his story of late is becoming a broken record. At least Woods finished his round, though. He had to withdraw from the Players Championship the last two years because of injuries.
Though his statistics — just 7-of-14 fairways hit and 9-of-18 greens in regulation — suggest Woods was well off his game, he saw it differently.
“I didn’t get a lot out of that round,” he said. “It should have been probably 1 or 2-under par.’’
Woods began the day with a bogey on the 10th hole, his first, and he fought his game the rest of the day, carding five bogeys and just three birdies.
“It wasn’t certainly the most positive start,’’ he said. “Any kind of momentum that I would build, I would shoot myself in the foot on the very next hole. I just didn’t score. Just one of those days. It was frustrating in the sense that my good shots ended up in bad spots, and obviously my bad shots ended up in worse spots.’’
Woods walked off the course with his over-par round and saw a leaderboard littered with red numbers, led by Ian Poulter’s 7-under-par 65. Poulter is tied with Martin Laird for the first-round lead.
“Obviously some of the guys went low,’’ Woods said. “You can shoot a round in the 60s today. That certainly can be had out there.’’
Woods’ history at the Stadium Course is a mixed bag, at best. Other than his win in 2001 and runner-up in 2000, which were the two best years of his career, yesterday marked the 17th round in his last 20 here that Woods failed to break 70.
Woods thought he was in good form while practicing on the range, where he said he “hit it really good.’’ But, as usual of late, he was unable to bring it to the round.
“It’s golf,’’ he said.
Woods said he must “just be patient with it, just keep plugging along.’’
As if the inconsistent state of Woods’ game wasn’t rattling enough to his psyche, there was a woman, who might not be considered what you would call “a catch’’ for the prom, who followed him throughout his round yelling, “Tiger, you’re my baby doll.’’
Overall, it was not a pretty day for Woods.