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Woods Struggles to a 77 at PGA Championship
Tiger Woods didn't get the start he wanted in the PGA Championship. The erstwhile No. 1-ranked player in the world carded a 7-over 77 in the opening round of the year's final major, now underway at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Starting on the 10th hole, Woods logged three birdies in five holes to get to 3-under. But things came unraveled on the difficult and long par-3 15th, which he double-bogeyed, one of three such misfires on the day.
In addition to the three doubles, Woods carded five bogeys Thursday, with only one birdie in his last 13 holes. His other double-bogeys came on the par-4 sixth and 18th holes.
"I'm not down, I'm angry right now," said Woods, a four-time winner of the championship who hasn't won since 2009 and is 14 strokes behind first-round leader Steve Stricker, who carded a stellar 7-under 63. Woods's 77 is his worst-ever round in the PGA Championship.
"I was having mechanical thoughts through those holes, and I figured I was 3-under, I can start letting it go now, and just play by instinct and feel," Woods said. "And [I] just screwed up my whole round. I'm not at that point where I can do that yet."
Here's what else Woods had to say in a post-round session with reporters.
TIGER WOODS: I thought I was playing well enough that I don't have to do that. I can just go out there and play and let it go and just play by feel and see the shot, hit the shot, feel it and I'm not at that point yet. My motor pattern is getting there, and I start fighting it, and I couldn't get it back. Obviously it's tough.
Q. How would you characterize 15 through 18?
TIGER WOODS: It was a tough stretch, yeah. It was a 4-iron and I was going to hit to the front edge or maybe just short of the green. I had to take something off a 3-iron and I didn't want to do that and I figured if anything, just hit a 4, easy chip, just putt it from there. And again, that's frustrating, because my shots don't shape like they used to. I don't shape the ball as much. I went ahead and as I said just play by feel and I just hit it, aimed too far right, and it didn't move.
And a lot of the fades out there, I did the same thing. I aimed left for a fade and it doesn't move; it moves about a yard or two and I'm used to having it cut a lot more than, and my draw used to move a lot more than that.
So it's hard for me right now to aim closer to flags or closer to where I want the ball to end up. I thought I was beyond that.
Q. Tiger, what's more frustrating, the score, or where you are in the process?
TIGER WOODS: Both. Both. Because I was 3-under early, and I said, you know what, every shot I hit up to that point were all mechanical thoughts, I put the club in a certain position, and I was doing that and I said, you know what, I'm feeling good. Let's just let it go. And it cost me the whole round.
Q. The parts of your body that are moving -- (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's just the same motor patterns. You tend to -- it's been a long list. That's one of the reasons why it takes so long to make improvements, make changes.
Q. What's perhaps the worst?
TIGER WOODS: It's not just one. I can't say just one, because it's a lot of different things. What causes the ball to shape more? It's a bunch of things. So it's just unfortunately I'm not at a point that I can let it go.
Q. You were saying -
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely. Absolutely. I wouldn't have done what I did today. That's what's frustrating because I'm in a major championship, it's time to score, time to play and time to let it go. And it cost me the round.
Q. You sound really -- a lot of times you talk about the positive, but you sound down.
TIGER WOODS: I'm not down. I'm really angry right now. So there's a lot of work I could use beyond that.
Q. Is there any downside -
TIGER WOODS: Well, I've been in this process before: I've been through it with Butch; I've been through it with Hank; and now I've been through it with Sean. I just thought, this is a major, and you peak for these events. And once you get to a major championship, you just let it fly, let it go. And I did and it cost me.
Q. So what adjustments are you going to make from now to tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: It's going to be a lot. It's a laundry list.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.