How Tiger Woods Shot the Highest Score of His Professional Career

Kathy BissellCorrespondent IJune 6, 2015

Tiger Woods frustrated with 85 at The Memorial
Tiger Woods frustrated with 85 at The MemorialDarron Cummings/Associated Press

When Tiger Woods, a man who has 79 PGA Tour victories, second-most in the history of professional golf in the U.S., shoots an 85, the highest score in his career, you want to know how it happened. Only Woods can decipher why it happened. That has to be left to the experts.  

"We've seen something quite shocking today," Nick Faldo said during the telecast. "This is when you are on melt down."

Faldo said the mind shuts down.

"You're not thinking straight. You don't really know what you are doing," he added.

According to Faldo, Woods was working hard on his game and stayed at the range until after 7 p.m. Friday evening.

Granted, the score, a 42-43, came on a golf course that punishes poor shots, but this is an event Woods has won five times. It was almost inexplicable. The quick summary is that on the front nine, Woods did not find a fairway until the seventh hole. He was in the fairway for the second time on the ninth, but he hit his second shot, on line with the flag, into the water.

On the back nine, he found the fairway on the 10th, 15th and 17th, but he made birdie only at the 15th hole.

He had six bogeys, two doubles and a quad, which came at the 18th. He left the course without saying anything, which is understandable.

Just as his low rounds are historic, so is his highest round ever. The summary, based on Shotlink, is as follows:

First Hole: He missed fairway, way right but made par.

Second Hole: He hit drive to the rough left but made par.

Third Hole: Woods found the middle of the fairway, but it's a short hole with a severe dogleg left, so he was probably hitting an iron. Par.

Fourth Hole: A 200-yard par three, Woods missed the green left into the bunker. He blasted out well but missed a four-and-a-half-footer for par. Result: bogey.

Fifth Hole: The drive went into right rough, 265 yards. His second shot only went 146 yards. With 103 yards left to the pin, he hit his third, then missed a putt of less than four feet for birdie, had a longer putt coming back for par, which he also missed, and made an eight-inch putt for bogey.

Sixth Hole: He was right of the fairway in a bunker off the tee but made par.

Seventh Hole: He found the fairway with a driver, 323 yards in the middle. His second shot landed just over the green, above the hole. The chip rolled another 24 feet beyond the flag. He made a six-footer for the par.

Eighth Hole: A par three, Woods hit his tee shot into the bunker, back and left of green. Then he blasted out poorly, with the ball scampering across the green into the bunker on the right. After his second sand shot, he was a little more than five feet from the hole but hit the putt too hard. It missed and rolled seven feet past hole. Double bogey.

Ninth Hole: Woods found the fairway for the second time in the round. He was just 133 yards from the pin and hit a shot that looked like it was right on line. It was, but it hit the bank and ran back into the water. Penalty shot. He hit across the water toward green but did not get the ball on the putting surface. It was a very poor chip. Then he had to chip again, out of rough. He landed four feet beyond hole and made that for a double.

10th Hole: Woods found the fairway and avoided trouble. Routine par.

11th Hole: He hit a tee shot into the right rough. His second shot was a hack out, going just 87 yards before it plummeted into the stream that bisects the hole. Another penalty shot. His fourth did not get to the putting surface. Woods chipped up to two feet and made for a bogey.

12th Hole: A par three, he missed the green long and left, chipped downhill, beyond the hold, still 12 feet away. From there, it was two putts, bogey.

13th Hole: He was in the left rough, then short of green in two; and it was chip and a five foot putt for par.

14th Hole: A short par four, it was an iron off the tee, and that resulted in another fairway hit. But then, the second shot skied over the green left into the bunkers, the worst place on the hole, facing a narrow green with water beyond it. His blast out did not even get to green. He chipped out of rough to just over three feet and made for bogey.

15th Hole: A par five, Woods again hit driver, and it was a good one, 303 yards in the middle of the fairway. His second shot of 232 yards, landed on green, and with two putts he made birdie and finally played like Tiger Woods.

16th Hole: A long par three, which he parred.

17th Hole: A dogleg right, he was in fairway with drive, but only 280, though, it was not a driver off the tee. From the fairway he hit into the stream that hides in front of the 17th green. Because the ball hit the bank and rolled back in, he so placed it on the upslope and chipped to four feet and made for bogey.

18th hole: The worst of the day. Again he found water left of the fairway with the tee shot. With his third shot, he was short of the green, tried to chip up, but the ball did not reach the flat part of the green and rolled back into the fairway. He tried again, but his ball landed in the greenside bunker in front of him. At last, he was on the green, but was 20 feet beyond the hole and took two more putts for an eight.

The result was 42-43 for an 85, Woods' highest score in a professional event. The entire round was not televised, but some holes were shown. 

Kathy Bissell is a Golf Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand or from official interview materials from the PGA Tour, USGA, R&A or PGA of America.

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