Tiger Woods struggles at Vallhalla in first round of PGA Championship


(John Locher/AP)

When Tiger Woods announced on Wednesday that he would be playing in this year’s PGA Championship at Valhalla, much of the world raised a skeptical eyebrow. After all, it was less than a week ago when the golf phenom pulled out of Bridgestone to nurse an ailing back.

So perhaps it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Woods, who has racked up four PGA wins in the past, wasn’t able to relive his glory days when he teed off this morning. Woods ended the first round nine shots back after his first round. He shot three over 74.

USA Today writes:

He appeared to twist awkwardly on a few of his wayward drives, and did not have the strength he needed on several iron shots. So maybe that’s a tight back. But he also had several good swings, and his grimaces appeared to be the result of poor shots, not shooting pain.

Well, that’s kind of a plus. But unfortunately it does not make his standing (when Woods finished his round, he was tied for 82nd place, nine shots behind the leaders) any more palatable.

Woods will get a chance to redeem himself in Round 2 on Friday, but if he is unable to place in the low 70s he’ll be cut from the tournament. Woods is set to tee off at 1:45 EDT on Friday.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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