Tiger Woods Opens Northern Trust 2018 at Even Par After Inconsistent Thursday

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2018

Tiger Woods tees off on the 13th hole during the first round of the Northern Trust golf tournament, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, in Paramus, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Tiger Woods battled through an up-and-down opening round at the Northern Trust on Thursday to shoot an even-par 71.

Woods was unable to find his groove at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey, resulting in a round that yielded two birdies and two bogeys.

When he entered the clubhouse, Tiger was tied for 39th place and trailed co-leaders Kevin Tway, Jamie Lovemark, Paul Casey and Jhonattan Vegas by five strokes.

A unique shotgun start resulted in Woods beginning his round on the ninth hole.

After parring No. 9, he scrambled effectively to par the 10th as well after hitting his tee shot into the rough:

The 42-year-old veteran parred each of his first eight holes before finally recording a birdie on the par-five 17th.

Tiger executed an accurate chip that barely skidded past the hole before cleaning up the putt to move to one-under par on the day:

Woods gave that stroke away with a bogey on No. 2 before quickly recovering to record a birdie on the par-five third.

The 14-time major winner carded another bogey two holes later on the par-four fifth, though, to fall back to even.

Tiger had an opportunity to close the round on a high note with a birdie try inside 15 feet on No. 8, but he missed it wide and had to settle for another par.

There was nothing inherently bad about Woods' round, but it was a disappointment considering how well he has played lately.

Tiger entered the Northern Trust having finished sixth or better in three of his previous four tournaments, including a second-place result at the PGA Championship this month.

There was also added excitement surrounding Woods' round after it was announced Wednesday that he will face Phil Mickelson in a $9 million match-play event in Las Vegas on Nov. 23.

Tiger was unspectacular Thursday, but since nobody has made a big move to run away with the tournament yet, he is still in the hunt for his first win since 2013.  

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