• US PGA Championship, 1st round

Out-of-sorts Woods stumbles at the end

Martin Williamson August 8, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Tiger Woods comes unstuck on the final hole © AP
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For all the hype and all the this-time-it-will-be-different talk in the build up to the US PGA, when it came down to it Tiger Woods again looked far from the assured golfer he is away from the majors. After a decent start his round wobbled in relatively benign scoring conditions at Oak Hill Country Club and then fell apart as he double-bogeyed his final hole.

His round of 71 - one over par - is not catastrophic but he starts the second round six shots off the pace and with a large number of players between him and the lead.

Woods, characteristically, was upbeat to the point of possibly being in denial. "The round realistically could have been under par easily," he said. "I played really well today. One loose 9-iron shot. I made a few par putts out there as well.

"I feel like I played well enough and made some nice key putts, and the key is I left it in good spots too. I'm still right there. As of right now, I'm only six back and we have a long way to go."

What the statistics hide is that his round could have been far worse had his putting not got him out of trouble on several holes and he hit just 9 of 18 greens in regulation.

Starting on the back nine, he began his round by having to hole a 10-footer for par, made birdies at the 13th and 15th holes and then could not add another the rest of the day.

His first bogey came at the par-five fourth, failing to hit the fairway with a driver and from there hit two more indifferent shots to end up in a greenside bunker. He could not get up and down for par.

He was still under par by the time he reached the last hole - the ninth - but a poor approach shot landed him in the deep rough short of the green. From there he landed in a bunker and was unable to get up and down, taking a double bogey.

"I tried to shape a one over there, and I drew no lie at all from my third shot," he said. "And I was just trying to play 20 feet long and putt back and try and just get bogey. I didn't even get it over the bunker. It came out nowhere. Didn't really have much from there, hit a beautiful putt, just lipped out."

Woods remains positive but his supporters are a little less upbeat than they were at the start of the day. He will need a much more consistent second round if he is to be in position to mount a serious challenge over the weekend.

Tiger Woods gets his bid for a 15th major underway © Getty Images
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Martin Williamson is managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa