Tiger Woods: What Golf Legend Must Do to Stay in the Hunt
Ironically, his poor greens-in-regulation percentage may have kept him from being further up the leaderboard, as he settled for a three-under-par 69.
The good news for Woods as he heads into the second round of the PGA Championship on Friday is that his putting seems to be coming around, dating back to the Bridgestone Invitational last weekend, in which he finished eighth.
The bad news is that he hit just 10 of 18 greens on Thursday. He also failed to capitalize on par-fives, something he's had trouble with this year. He parred three out of the four par-fives at the Ocean Course in the first round.
But, overall, Woods has to be happy.
Since turning pro in 1996, Woods has consistently had a very good GIR, with the exception of 2010. This year, he headed into the Ocean Course ranked 13th in GIR, via PGATour.com.
Will Tiger Woods win the 2012 PGA Championship?
The odds are that Woods is going to bounce back in that area in the final three rounds moving forward.
That means, if Woods can continue to putt well (he had six birdies on Thursday), there is no reason he can't jump up the leaderboard and potentially win the 2012 PGA Championship.
If Woods' putting game stays on course, his biggest challenge will probably be dominating those par-fives, which really shouldn't be a a great challenge but continues to be for Woods this year. He did birdie the par-five, No. 2 hole on Thursday, though, so it's not out of the question that he birdies another one or two par-fives on Friday.
Bottom line: Woods is firmly within reach of his 15th career major championship, but he has a lot of competition through one round of play. Twenty-three golfers are within three strokes of leader Carl Pettersson.
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