Poor ball striking dooms Tiger Woods in opening round at Quail Hollow
The saying “drive for show, putt for dough” is something every golfer has heard at one time or another while playing the game. While the saying is almost always true, there is something to be said for being able to hit the ball straight and keep it in play.
It really doesn’t matter how good you’re putting if you can’t reach the green in regulation. Tiger Woods found that out the hard way on Thursday, posting an opening round 2-over 74 that included knocking two balls into the drink on 17 and 18 (his 8th and 9th holes of the day).
Woods’ putting wasn’t the problem during his round (he currently ranks T30 with 1.667 putts per round); it was his accuracy that doomed him during an up-and-down round that had the world number one shaking his head when he was finished. Woods commented that he had no idea which way the ball was going for most of the day. You know that’s never a good thing.
Woods managed to hit only 50 percent of the greens in regulations (T100 in the field) and 29 percent of the fairways (T116). The round also included four bogeys and a double that set the tone for a rare off day.
While we’ve all seen Woods struggle with his game before, there were signs that things just weren’t right during the morning. Besides knocking the ball all over the map, it appeared that Woods couldn’t control the distance on his iron shots. The struggles he faced during the final round of the Masters appeared to continue at Quail Hollow, as Woods looked continually frustrated with his swing.
A 2-over 74 is salvageable at a course as difficult as Quail Hollow but if Woods continues to hit the ball like he did today, there’s no reason to expect he’d be around for the weekend. Could you imagine him missing the cut in his second tournament back? I’m sure Quail Hollow and the city of Charlotte would love that.