Saturday, May 26, 2018

Tiger battles bogeys on back nine in return to PGA Tour

SAN DIEGO — Tiger Woods had a rough return Thursday to the PGA Tour.

A slow one, too.

Woods, playing in a PGA event for the first time in 17 months, fell apart on the back nine of the South Course at Torrey Pines and wound up with 4-over 76, leaving him in danger of missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open.

He was 11 shots behind leader Justin Rose, who shot 65 on the shorter North Course.

"I was fighting out there trying to get my ball around the golf course and score," Woods said.

Woods said he had a hard time adjusting to the pace of play from being in threesomes for the first time since he last played a PGA event at the Wyndham Championship in August 2015.

"Honestly, it was just weird waiting that much," he said. "Not used to doing that. At home, I guess we're flying a little quicker than this. It was just a different rhythm."

His opening tee shot went into the right rough, and he hit a big cut closer to the gallery than the green. Woods failed to make a birdie on the front nine, and just when it looked like he might be rallying, with birdie putts at 10 and 11, his round completely fell apart.

"And it went the other way," Woods said. "I hit bad tee shots and made a bad three-putt and laid up from the rough into rough. I just kept compounding problems and mistakes out there."

Starting with No. 12, he played the next six holes in 6 over, with double bogey on the 15th hole the biggest blow.

Woods ended the round with birdie, tied for 133rd place. It was his worst opening round to start a calendar year. He missed 10 of 14 fairways and half the 18 greens, and nearly every miss was to the right.

Phil Mickelson was within striking distance at 1-under 71. Jason Day missed five putts from the 4-foot range, opening with 73. Dustin Johnson made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole for 72.

SEMINOLE'S LINCICOME LEADS: Seminole's Brittany Lincicome shot a tournament-record 9-under 64 to take the first-round lead in the LPGA Tour's season-opening Bahamas Classic at Paradise Island. She played a six-hole stretch at Ocean Club in 6 under, capping the run with eagle on the par-5 seventh hole. She added birdies on 11, 14 and 15. "I was making everything — 30-footers, 10-footers, 5-footers. It was a pretty easy day," Lincicome, 31, said. Stacy Lewis was two strokes back with Megan Khang and P.K. Kongkraphan.