Tiger Woods’ attempt to defend his title at the Zozo Championship is, well, off to a horrendous start.
Woods struggled badly in his opening round at Sherwood Country Club in Southern California on Thursday, posting a 4-over 76 to drop him to 75th — or just one stroke better than a tie for last.
He opened with a bogey and a double in his first four holes, which dropped him to the bottom of the leaderboard almost instantly.
One of the few positives from the round came on his fifth hole of the day, when he somehow drained a deep birdie putt from more than 87 feet from the cup — something that left even Woods stunned.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 22, 2020
That, though, didn’t spark any momentum for the 44-year-old.
He bogeyed once more to close out his 3-over 39 on his front side, and carded two more bogeys on the back after a birdie on No. 2 to finish 4-over on the day.
Woods hit just seven fairways and 10 greens in his round, and couldn’t seem to handle the par 5s, either. He went 3-over on the five par 5s at Sherwood, marking the first time in his career he’s done so in a single round.
Only Michael Thompson, who matched Woods’ 76m and Adam Long sit with Woods at the bottom of the leaderboard. While there is no cut this week, Woods has a long way to go to get back into contention — especially after Sebastian Munoz cruised to 8-under to lead the field.
Will Tiger Woods be ready for The Masters?
Though a win this week would’ve been historic — not only would it mark back-to-back wins at the tournament, but it would also be Woods’ 83rd career win on the PGA Tour and would set the all-time record — Wood said coming into the event that his main focus was simply preparing for the 2020 Masters Tournament.
The final major championship of the calendar year is set to kick off next month after it was rescheduled from April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Woods said he’s had to completely rethink how he’s preparing for Augusta National, and is even thinking about playing in the Houston Open right before the Masters — which would be the first time he’s played the week before a major championship since 1997.
“The whole idea is to be ready in a few weeks and whether or not that’s playing one more event, whether that’s Houston or just playing here at Zozo, just making sure that I’m ready for Augusta,” he said on Tuesday.
Based on how Thursday went, making a pit stop in Houston on the way to Georgia might be a good idea.
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