The gallery that followed Tiger Woods' threesome during the first round was enormous, but his 1-over-par 71 left him eight strokes behind leader Vijay Singh.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS - After a rough first-round 71 Thursday at the Greenbrier Classic, Tiger Woods headed right to the range after addressing the crush of media.Woods needs work on his entire game, tee to green, to make the cut today.His 1-over round placed him in a tie for 88th place on a rain-softened course ripe for low scoring. After winning two of his last three tournaments, that round represents a considerable setback.Sixty-two players shot under par, but Woods wasn't one of them. He sits eight shots behind leader Vijay Singh.
With a large gallery following his every shot, Woods grinded his way around the course, struggling with the unusually slow greens. But really, it was the 17th hole that turned his round south.It was his eighth hole of the day, as he teed off on No. 10. The disaster started off the tee, when his shot landed in Howard's Creek on the right.He dropped into the right rough, then laid up about 140 yards away. His approach was respectable, but he still had 20 feet to save par. Somehow, he three-putted for double bogey, missing from 1 foot, 11 inches.In an area of the course with the highest concentration of humanity, the groans were pronounced. He went over par for the first time, and could get no better than even in the final 10 holes.
"Got a little bit stuck on the way, hit it in the water," Woods said of the 17th. "Laid up with a 6-iron, hit a wedge just short. First putt left short, going back up against the mountain. The next one, I just blocked it."It was a simple little tap-in putt and I blocked it."It was his first double bogey since the final round of the U.S. Open, and it highlighted his trouble on the greens. He hit a 15-footer for his first birdie on the 11th, but didn't hit anything longer than 5 feet the rest of the way.Clearly, he lost to Old White's greens, which were slowed by a downpour Tuesday afternoon."I've been playing my last three tournaments [in which] the greens were awfully quick and they have a lot of swing because of how fast they are," Woods said. "I missed every, literally every single putt high today. I never hit one that missed on the low side; everybody's missing high."With that, he spent the afternoon at the practice area.Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, firstname.lastname@example.org
or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.