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Tiger Woods Struggles in 1st Round at 2019 BMW Championship

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2019

MEDINAH, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 15: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during the first round of the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club No. 3 on August 15, 2019 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tiger Woods' quest to qualify for the Tour Championship got off to a rocky start on Thursday. 

Woods shot a one-under 71 in the opening round of the BMW Championship in Medinah, Illinois, putting him in a tie for 48th overall at the time of publication. For Woods to finish with the requisite top-30 rating to qualify for East Lake, he'll need to finish in the top 11 at the BMW Championship, per Cameron Morfit of PGATour.com.

Woods got off to a great start, with a birdies on Nos. 1 and 3:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Just the start he wanted. 🐦 @TigerWoods getting straight down to business @BMWchamps. #QuickHits https://t.co/7tKNj9QRHe

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Here comes @TigerWoods ... From nearly 40 feet for birdie. 👏 #QuickHits https://t.co/92vCM7NVZi

Woods finished his round with bogeys on Nos. 4, 9 and 16 and birdies on Nos. 5 and 11. Surely, not the round he was hoping for to start the BMW Championship.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

🎯 @TigerWoods gets back to 2-under. #QuickHits https://t.co/1OUkuOBICL

"I'm gonna have to make a lot of birdies," Woods said after the round regarding qualification for the TOUR Championship, per the Golf Channel's Tiger Tracker.

One positive for the day was that Woods' back didn't bother him during the round.

"I didn't feel any tightness in my oblique at all," he said.

But overall, it wasn't the round he was looking for to start the tournament.

Tiger Tracker @GCTigerTracker

Cites some rust around the greens. “Just not sharp.”

Tiger Tracker @GCTigerTracker

Said he felt happiest with how he felt with driver, despite spraying it a little.

Tiger Tracker @GCTigerTracker

Said he thinks he could have shot 3-5 under today given how he hit it but let it get away around the greens.

In general, Woods has started slowly this year. According to Justin Ray of the 15th Club, Woods has yet to shoot below 70 in any opening round this season. 

On Thursday, he averaged a driving distance of 276.5 yards, had a driving accuracy of just 50 percent, hit 61.1 percent of his greens in regulation and lost 1.076 strokes putting, per PGATour.com.

Those numbers will have to improve if Woods is to have any chance of catching leaders Justin Thomas (-7) and Jason Kokrak (-7), let alone get into the top 11. Woods has had some amazing highs this season, so it isn't outside the realm of possibility. But there's no doubt that he dug himself a hole on Thursday.