Tiger Woods said he should have shot 1 or 2 under instead of 1 over on Thursday. (Cannon/Getty Images)
Woods rues lost scoring opportunities after opening 71
Tiger Woods couldn't take advantage of the perfect conditions Thursday, posting his first over-par opening round in an Open since 2003. As at Bethpage, his biggest problem was his putting.
By T.J. Auclair, PGA.com Interactive Producer
TURNBERRY, Scotland -- Turnberry was as benign as could be and the sun was even shining on Thursday morning, making it prime for low scores in the first round of the 138th Open Championship.
Tiger Woods, however, couldn’t take advantage.
The world’s No. 1 player shot a 1-over 71 to start the Open Championship, digging himself a deep hole. Tom Watson, the 59-year-old, five-time Open Champion, posted a 5-under 65 for the clubhouse lead about an hour before Woods finished.
The 71 by Woods is his first over-par opening score in the Open Championship since he shot a 73 at Royal St. George’s in 2003 on his way to a tie for fourth.
“Well, I certainly made a few mistakes out there today,” said Woods, who is looking for his fourth Open Championship win. “Realistically, I probably should have shot about 1 or 2 under par today. But I made a few mistakes, and consequently I'm at 1 over.”
The same thing that plagued Woods at the U.S. Open got him again in the first round at Turnberry -- a balky putter. There were several times on Thursday where he just missed on putts inside of 12 feet.
“You've just got to be patient out there,” said Woods, who had 30 putts total in the first round. “This golf course, certainly you could shoot a good round today. You saw a lot of guys at basically 3, 4, 5 under par. And that's what you could do out there today.
“The wind is down. Most of the pins are accessible. Not all of them, but most of them,” he added. “If you get it in there, you can make some putts out there today, because obviously the wind is not really blowing yet.”
Woods’ round got off to a promising start when he made a short birdie putt on the second hole to quickly get to 1 under. But, he gave the birdie right back on No. 3 with a bogey after finding some rough off the tee.
“Unfortunately on the range, my misses were right,” he said. “And I tried not to miss it right on 3. I didn't do that, and consequently I hit it left. The misses I had were the same shots I was hitting on the range. So I need to go work on that and get it squared away for tomorrow.”
Woods made his second bogey of the day on the par-4 10th hole, followed by bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16. To cap the day off, Woods was only able to salvage a par on No. 17, the lone par 5 on the back nine.
Hitting mostly irons off the tee, Woods’ hit just 8 of 14 fairways on Thursday and hit 12 of 18 greens.
“The irons I was hitting out there today was because the wind was down,” he said. “Most of the holes I normally would be hitting 3-wood. No wind, the 2-iron goes the to the same spot. We were just playing to the same areas, whether it's 2-iron, 3-wood, whatever it may be, we're playing to certain spots, how we think the golf course should be attacked and played.”