TULSA, Okla – Tiger Woods has a good sense of humor, though it is rare to use it in a public setting. But at the age of 46 he develops. What was once unimaginable to him – the ridiculous ridicule of his bad game on the golf course – is one of his new, lucrative tools.
On Thursday, six weeks after his exciting return to the Masters Tournament, Woods returned to competitive golf in the first round of the PGA Championship. After starting with two early birds, Woods was slightly lame on his right leg, which was surgically repaired after several serious fractures received in his horrific car crash early last year. After a few holes, Woods limped a lot, sometimes using a golf club as a cane to climb or descend hills.
Not surprisingly, his score soon reflected on his weakness as he shot 74-74 in the last 13 holes of seven bogeymen. After he arrived at the podium at the press conference, he was asked about his rebuilt leg.
“Yes, I do not feel as well as I would like,” he said with a smile. Woods added that he could not put weight on his right foot during his back swing – known as a load – and also struggled to put his foot down.
“The load hurts, it hurts to catch it, it hurts to walk and roll,” he said.
Woods immediately said, “It’s just golf. If I do not play it, if I do not do it, then I’m fine. “
“We will start the recovery process and finish it tomorrow,” he added, predicting that his evening would include ice baths and a lot of effort to reduce inflammation in his right foot.
The long-term influence of Tiger Woods and the uncertain future
The star golfer, one of the most influential athletes of the last quarter century, is returning after being seriously injured in a car accident.
So Woods ’constant return to elite golf will be followed by the awkward, irregular progress he even predicted before the Masters when he said he was looking forward to a series of good and bad days.
“It’s a process,” Woods said.
Part of that process, as Woods acknowledged Tuesday, was that his right leg and diseased back, which had been operated on five times, were no longer allowed to work for long periods of time, which had been routine for him since he was. Kindergarten educator. While watching Woods play on Thursday, it was easy to wonder if he had any problems with his lack of training on the golf course, especially for those like Woods, who was once known for his tiring work habits.
For example, one of Woods’s playing partners on Thursday was Rory McIlroy, who was the leader of the first round with a score below 65. McIlroy successfully traversed the dangerous slopes of the South Hill Country Club with skillful chips, bunker play and. Deadly precise installation.
Woods’ brief play was once his greatest strength, but on Thursday he was repeatedly bothered. Moreover, Woods looked uncomfortable or uncertain in these shots, which was stunning. Woods with a wedge or utensil in his hand has always been a locker and impudent.
But in the sixth hole Woods played on Thursday when he was still two for the round, he was in the Greenside bunker with a fairly direct shot on a pin that was 23 feet away. It was shocking that he fired a shot that hit a hole 21 feet away and the bogeyman made it.
After three holes, he played the 18th hole as his team started the tour on the 10th, Woods was in another Greenside bunker and struck the ball again 20 feet next to the Bogi hole. Even after Woods had assembled the bird after three holes, another bunker fired at the second hole swam across the green and led to another bogeyman.
Woods looked angry, and as is often the case with any golfer, mistakes in one aspect of the game led to a lack of performance in the other part of the game as Woods was unable to convert some long or medium distance shooting. Remember that some people think Woods was the biggest pressure of the modern era of golf.
Asked about his difficulties from the sand, Woods replied: “Yes, every shot in the bunker was somehow hot.”
But his bunker game was not the only way, Thursday’s round seemed uncharacteristic of Woods. For more than 25 years, Woods has been known as an aggressive golfer, and he invented a driver-bombing style that excelled in sports.
But on Thursday, when McIlroy and the group’s third-ranked golfer, Jordan Spitt, drove the drivers far into the farm, Woods hit long irons and played for position. Sometimes he stood 60 yards back from McIlroy May, though, as Woods later said, his inability to get his right foot off the ground led to those shots to the right.
“I would not have been so far behind if I had hit the iron blow hard and put the ball on Parvae,” he said. “I was playing in my seats and these guys have obviously different game plans. The game is just different. It ‘s a lot more aggressive now and I know it. But I’m playing in my seats.
He continued: “But I did not do that. I threw the ball roughly. “
The smile that Woods brought to the beginning of the press conference was fading. The return of golf, which seemed unlikely just 15 months ago, will continue on Friday, Woods said. But before he could leave with a noticeable, reluctant lameness, Woods made one last comment.
“It was a frustrating day,” he said.