Tiger Woods’ opening round at the PGA Championship wasn’t perfect.
The 82-time PGA Tour winner has played just a handful of times so far this season, after all.
He is, however, right in the mix after posting a 2-under 68 in the early wave on Thursday at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco — which marked his lowest opening round in a major championship since 2012.
Woods’ quick start
Woods didn’t waste much time getting going on Thursday.
After hitting his first two shots into the rough on the par-5 10th to start his round, Woods stuck a stellar chip right just feet from the pin to set up a birdie right out of the gate. He backed it up two holes later, too, sinking a 33-footer on No. 13 to jump to 2-under.
Woods made bogey on No. 14, however, after an errant drive and an approach shot that landed him inside a bunker to drop back to 1-under.
A strong stretch on the back
Woods made bogey on No. 2, dropping him back to 1-under after carding five-straight pars. That is when he finally made his move.
Woods made three birdies in four holes — including back-to-back birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 — to pull within just two of the lead.
He had an opportunity to pick up a fourth on No. 8, especially after a nice bunker shot set up a makeable par on the par-3. Woods’ putt, however, was just off the mark, dropping him back. His birdie putt on the ninth was just short, too, ending his round at 2-under par. He hit five of his final six greens of the day.
Woods is now just three back of Jason Day, who surged ahead to grab the solo lead early with three birdies on his back nine.
Woods has played just once since play resumed after the COVID-19 hiatus. He made his first appearance on the PGA Tour in nearly five months at the Memorial Tournament in July, though finished T40 and failed to shoot better than 71 the entire week. He picked up his 82nd career win earlier this season at the Zozo Championship — tying Sam Snead for the most in Tour history — though that was back in October.
Woods will kick off his second round just before 5 p.m. ET on Friday.
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