TULSA, Okla. – Tiger Woods has a good sense of humor, although it is rare for him to use it in public. But at the age of 46, she is growing up. What was once unthinkable for him – mocking his bad game on the golf course – is one of his most impressive new tools.
On Thursday, six weeks after his exciting return to the Masters Tournament, Woods returned to golf in the first round of the PGA Tournament. After the start of a fire for two early planes, Woods was limping slightly to his right leg, which underwent reconstructive surgery after a serious fracture he suffered in a serious car accident earlier last year. Several holes later, Woods was very slippery, even sometimes using a golf club like a cane to climb or descend hills.
Not surprisingly, his score recently showed his weakness when he shot four-over 74 and seven boge in his last 13 holes. After arriving on the platform for a press conference, he was asked about his rebuilt leg.
“Yes, I do not feel as good as I would like it to,” he said with a smile. Woods added that he could not put weight on his right leg during the back trip – known as a load – and he also struggled to push his foot down, too.
“Loading hurts, removing it hurts, and walking hurts and distorts hurts,” he said.
Woods was then shocked: “It’s just golf. If I don’t play, if I don’t, then I’m fine. ”
“We will start the recovery process and follow it tomorrow,” he added, predicting that his evening will include an ice bath and a lot of effort to reduce swelling in his right leg.
The Permanent Impact of Tiger Woods and the Uncertain Future
The star golfer, one of the most famous athletes of the quarter-century, is making a comeback after being seriously injured in a car accident.
And so, Woods’ return to elite golf is to follow the poor, extraordinary development that even he predicted before the Masters when he said he expected a series of good and bad days.
“It’s a process,” Woods said.
Part of the process, as Woods admitted Tuesday, is that his right leg and aching spine, which has undergone five operations, no longer allowed him to exercise for long, which was normal for him since he was. kindergarten child. As I watched Woods play on Thursday, it was easy to wonder if some of his problems at the golf course were related to a lack of preparation outside the stadium, especially to someone like Woods who was once known for his boring work habits.
For example, one of the teammates who played with Woods on Thursday was Rory McIlroy, who was the first round leader with a minimum of 65. McIlroy managed to browse the Southern Hills Country Club’s steep slopes for deft play, bunker and death. proper setting.
Woods’ short game at one time was probably his main strength, but on Thursday he repeatedly dropped it. Further, Woods appeared unconcerned, or uncertain, over the shots, which was shocking. Woods with a wedge or putter in his hands was always ordered by cocksure.
But in the sixth hole that Woods played Thursday, when he was still below the level of both sides, he was on a green bunker with a direct shot at the pin, which was 23 feet away. Surprisingly, he fired his shot 21 feet behind the hole and made a bogey.
Three holes later, playing 18th hole because his team started the 10th round, Woods was in another green bunker and again threw his ball 20 feet behind the hole for bogey. Even after the Woods rallied for birdie three holes later, another bunker shot at the next hole ship over the green and led by another bogey.
Woods seemed annoyed, and as is the case with any golfer, errors in one part of the game resulted in a lack of implementation in another part of the game as Woods failed to change many long-range or medium-range balls. Keep in mind that some people think Woods is the biggest pressure taker of the modern golf era.
Asked about his hardness from the sand, Woods said: “Yes, all the bunker bullets came out of the fire.”
But his bunker play was not the only way Thursday’s round seemed to be unethical for Woods. For more than 25 years, Woods was known as a fierce golfer, and he invented a blasting-and-driver style that won the game.
But on Thursday, when McIlroy and the third golfer in the group, Jordan Spieth, launched the drivers off the highway, Woods was making long passes and playing for space. Sometimes he was more than 60 yards behind McIlroy from the tee, though as Woods said later, his inability to push his right leg caused him to shoot to the right.
“I wouldn’t be so far behind if I fired a powerful shot and put the ball in the right direction,” he said. “I was playing in my areas, and those people of course have a different game plan. The game is just different. It’s more intense now, and I know that. But I was playing with my ads. If I hit the ball hard in those two holes and set ball in the right direction, I would be right. “
He continued: “But I did not do that. I put the ball in the wrong place. “
The smile that Woods brought at the beginning of his press conference was fading. The restoration of golf that seemed impossible 15 months ago would continue on Friday, Woods said. But before he left with a limp, lurching, Woods had one last thought.
“It was a stressful day,” he said.