“I am getting stronger for sure” Woods feeling good but lacking sharpness

Ronan MacNamara

Tiger Woods (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Tiger Woods faces a battle to make the cut at the PGA Championship as a lack of competitive sharpness blighted what was a promising opening round at Valhalla.

Despite holing over 90-feet of putts on day one, Woods three-putted his last two holes to move from one-under to one-over and sign for a 72 to leave him ten shots behind Xander Schauffele and in a share of 85th place.

“I three-whipped the last two holes. Wasn’t very good. Bad speed on 8; whipped it past the hole,” said the fifteen-time major winner.

“And 9, hit it short. Hit it off the heel of the putt and blocked the second one. So wasn’t very good on the last two holes.”

Woods started slow and found himself over-par early on after a bogey on the par-3 11th which he did well to limit the damage on. A birdie on 13 drew the first Tiger roar of the day before a bogey on 15 saw him turn in 37.

He looked like he had dusted off the cobwebs since his last appearance at Augusta National last month with birdies on the third and seventh, while there were clutch par saves in between.

“It’s just the competitive flow. It took me probably three holes to get back into competitive flow again and get a feel for hitting the ball out there in competition, adrenaline, temperatures, green speeds. These are all things that normally I adjust to very quickly, and it just took me a few holes to get into it.

“Made that putt on 12 and got me going and made another putt on 13.”

However, he was found wanting late on in the round with those three-putt bogeys to close and he admitted it was just a lack of competitive edge that caught up with him.

“I am getting stronger for sure. It’s just that I just don’t play a whole lot of competitive rounds. I haven’t played since the Masters. So it’s a little bit different than being at home and playing a flat Florida course.

“Each day is a little bit different. Some days, it’s better than others. It’s just the way it is. My body is just that way. Some days, it feels great, and other days, a bit of a struggle.”

As ever, Woods still believes he is capable of winning a sixteenth major crown despite his limited schedule and insists he will battle hard to make the weekend and go from there.

“Well, you can’t win a tournament unless you make the cut. That’s the whole idea is get to the weekend so that you can participate and have a chance to win.

“I’ve been on the cut number and have won tournaments, or I’ve been ahead and leading tournaments and I’ve won tournaments. But you have to get to the weekend in order to win a golf tournament.”



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