‘Discombobulated’ Tiger Woods flails about in awful start at the British Open
Tiger Woods looked as disoriented through nine holes Thursday on his favorite golf course as he has on any track in this lost season of 2015.
WIth Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Robert Streb atop the British Open leaderboard in the morning wave of players, Woods’ game was in as much of a shambles as it was in his opening round of 80 at Chambers Bay a month ago.
"Discombobulated" is how ESPN’s Paul Azinger described Woods after he missed a short par putt on the easy par-5 fifth hole that put him at 3-over. It is the only par-5 on the front nine and not very difficult, but Tiger somehow made a mess of it.
"That’s the word I think of at this point," said Azinger, who apparently did not pick the word out of thin air.
With 78 players on the course, the only ones with higher scores were Rod Pampling and Kevin Streelman, at 5-over.
"Sounding an awful lot like Chambers Bay, isn’t it?" asked Dottie Pepper, who was with Woods’ group on Thursday morning and referred to Tiger’s opening round of 80 at last month’s U.S. Open.
On Thursday, Woods kicked off his bid to end a seven-year major drought with a chili-dipped iron shot off the first tee and an approach that found the ribbon of water guarding the first green.
It was an astounding and excusable bogey at the east first hole, giving 1.5 shots back to a field that had rolled in birdies there through much of the morning.
"You almost want to say, ‘Who are you and what have you done with Tiger Woods?’" Azinger said amid the opening nine of the 14-time major champion.
"He’s not 4-over because he’s hitting it sideways. He’s 4-over because he has zero distance control ... He hasn’t made any putts. On this golf course, you have to do three things well: you have to drive it well, you have to hit wedges well and you have to make some putts," Azinger said. "That was Tiger’s strength for years. It’s hard to watch the greatest player of this generation be a middle-of-the-pack hack."
How about a bottom-of-the-pile duffer? When Woods made the turn at 4-over 40, he was 10 shots behind the pacesetters before most viewers in the United States woke up.
SB Nation presents: Can Jordan Spieth continue his Grand Slam chase at St. Andrews?