May 03, 2018

Tiger Shoots Even in Round 1 At Wells Fargo

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Tiger Woods posted a solid even-par 71 on Thursday in the opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club.

Competing in the tournament for the seventh time but first since 2012, he carded three birdies and three bogeys on a warm and calm day. Woods is tied for 34th, six strokes behind leader John Peterson.

“Ball-striking wise, I’m fine,” said Woods, who is making his seventh start of 2018. “I just didn’t make anything.”

The greens have been redone since his last start here and he never appeared comfortable, three-putting once and missing two four-footers. More slope has been added to many of the putting surfaces.

“I just struggled with the speed of the greens,” he said. “They’re on the slower side. They feel springy and they feel fast, especially as I’m walking on them, but they’re not putting that way.”

Woods used 31 putts for the round.

“If I make a couple putts, I’m 2 or 3-under,” he said.

After his post-round debrief with the media, Woods went straight to the practice green.

An afternoon starter with Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka, Woods began with three pars before bogeying the par-3 fourth. He got it back with a short birdie putt at the par-5 seventh, then poured in a 25-footer at the par-4 eighth. Woods almost achieved a hat trick but just missed from 12 feet at the par-4 ninth and turned in 1-under 34.

He dropped another shot at the par-5 10th, mis-hitting his third shot.

“I stuck a wedge in the ground,” he said.

Woods steadied with four straight pars, lipping out a four-foot birdie try at the short par-4 14th. He three-putted the par-4 16th for a bogey, knocking his birdie attempt four feet past the cup and watched his par putt spin out.

“I just busted it,” he said of the first putt.

Woods buried a 15-footer at the dangerous, water-flanked par-3 17th to avoid further damage, then struck a great approach shot from the right fairway bunker at the demanding par-4 18th just inside 10 feet but couldn’t capitalize.

He found six of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens.

“This golf course is a lot harder,” said Woods. “It’s a lot longer and more difficult. A lot more bunkers come into play and they’re difficult to carry.”

Since his last visit, Quail Hollow has been stretched to 7,554 yards and par reduced from 72 to 71.

Not surprisingly, only 33 of the 156 competitors broke par Thursday.

“The way this golf course is set up, it’s going to be really stacked up,” Woods said of the clogged leaderboard.

Woods gets an early start Friday. He tees off at 7:40 a.m. ET on the 10th tee with Reed and Koepka.