Putter haunts Tiger Woods opening round at Riviera
February 15, 2019
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- Feeling uncomfortable with his putter, Tiger Woods recorded a 1-under 70 on Friday morning at the Genesis Open. (Harry How/Getty Images)
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Tournament host Tiger Woods was left to rue a tough time on the greens during a marathon Friday at the Genesis Open.
The 80-time PGA TOUR winner was forced to play 30 holes after Thursday’s rain delay pushed his opening round start time to Friday.
It was the most competitive golf in one day Woods has faced since his back-fusion surgery in 2017.
Cold weather and flurries of rain certainly weren’t peak conditions for the 43-year-old who cobbled together a 1-under 70 in his morning round before sitting even par through 12 holes of his second round when darkness halted play.
Woods played 29 holes on Saturday of last season’s PGA Championship in St. Louis however it was played in hot conditions, allowing for his back to stay loose.
Friday’s 30-hole effort left the former two-time FedExCup champion nine shots adrift of Justin Thomas (12 holes) and Adam Scott (11 holes) who share the lead at 10 under midway through their second rounds.
Woods needed 34 putts on the soft and gettable greens in his opening round after hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation.
As a result he lost over two and a half strokes to the field putting, ranking 134th in the field for the opening round.
“I hit it well and putted awful. Four three‑putts is ridiculous,” Woods said.
Things could have been worse for Woods after he sat two over through seven holes, but the veteran peeled off four birdies in a row around the turn to resurrect his challenge and one of the rare venues he has yet to post a victory.
Needing to get something going in the afternoon round Woods opened with two quick birdies, but then hit the wall late in the day.
Having started on the 10th hole in the afternoon Woods bogeyed the 16th and 18th holes.
A chance to stay in the contest came when he buried a long-range eagle putt on the par-5 1st, his 10th hole of round two, but as the light faded so too did his swing.
Bogeys on the next two holes came before the horn stopped play.
“It was a tough day. I'm stiff right now. It got pretty chilly towards the end, the ball wasn't going very far,” Woods added.
“I don't know what it is, I just didn't feel very comfortable with my putter today, couldn't see my lines, and consequently I hit just a boatload of bad putts.
“I just couldn't get comfortable with my posture. I need to fix it quickly.”
Woods will return for the remaining six holes of his second round at 7:00 a.m. PT on Saturday with temperatures slated for 48 degrees.
He currently sits tied 55th with the other side of the draw set to begin their second rounds from 7:40 a.m. local time leaving Woods a long wait to see where he will stand and whether or not he will make the cut.