Tiger Woods endured a difficult return as he shot a four-over 75 in the first of the PGA Tour’s play-off events at Liberty National in New Jersey. Woods was playing his first round since missing the cut in The Open at Royal Portrush last month.
He was only able to practice chipping and putting in Wednesday’s pro-am and his game was not sharp as he recorded five bogeys and one double bogey. It left him 13 strokes behind early leader, Troy Merritt, who fired a 62.
Thankfully from Woods’ point of view, there were far fewer spectators on hand to witness his struggles than normal. Following bad weather the day before, spectators were not allowed in until 10.00 local time, at which point he had almost completed his first nine holes.
The 43-year-old has played a very limited schedule since he won The Masters, with this being only his fifth start since that Sunday in April. But he did not look comfortable and the poor round followed on from his struggles at Portrush where he had rounds of 78 and 70 to miss the halfway cut by five strokes.
Tiger no longer a YouTube golfer to his kids
It is nearly four months since Woods won The Masters to record his 15th Major title, 11 years after his previous victory. But in an interview with CBS on the eve of the tournament, he opened up on what it meant to have his children, daughter Sam, 12, and 10-year-old son Charlie there waiting for him as he came off the 18th green at Augusta.
“I just wanted them to understand what Daddy does, that he is not that YouTube golfer,” said Woods. “They see highlights of that guy, but I’m not that guy. I can still do it. For them to see it, feel it and feel the electricity of the crowd was awesome.
“To see Charlie first, then my Mom and to hug Sam, it gives me chills just thinking about it.” Woods added that the Masters victory had changed his children’s perception of him as a golfer.
“They were both very hesitant about this golf stuff. They only remember the bad times. They associated golf with pain,” he said of a sport that contributed to him requiring four operations on his back.
“They are excited I am happy and playing again and I am doing something I love. They are seeing that in me. “But they are worried about me because they don’t want to see me hurt again.”