After a three week break following his return to the Masters, Tiger Woods was back on the course Thursday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Championship.
The 14-time major champion shot even par in a round that should’ve looked much better on the scorecard. Tiger hit 13 greens in regulation, but managed just three birdies.
Woods last played in the Wells Fargo Championship in 2012. He has played the tournament six times, winning in 2007. He has missed the cut in his last two appearances – in 2010 and 2012.
Woods tees off at 7:40 a.m. ET on the back-nine first alongside Brooks Koepka and Masters champ Patrick Reed. Follow along as we track his performance hole-by-hole throughout the day:
Thoughts at the turn
Here we go again. Tiger’s playing better than his score, but just like his front-nine yesterday, he’s left a handful of birdies on the course. Tiger’s hit 7-of-9 greens in regulation and he’s 4-7 hitting fairways, but he has 18 putts through nine holes. His iron play has been phenomenal, but he’s missing putts that he should make. If the putts inside 10-feet don’t start falling, he could be heading home early. The current projected cut line is 2-over par, which is where Tiger finds himself on the leaderboard.
Hole 18 – Par 4
Tiger cranked a 3-wood off the tee right down the middle of the fairway, but the story of his round so far has been his inability to take advantage of great drives. His approach was just about perfect, nestling 8-feet from the hole for another great birdie look. He misses left for another tap-in par and missed opportunity. He’ll make the turn to the front-nine 2-over.
Leaderboard update: John Peterson is the lone leader at 5-under par, followed by Peter Malnati and Tyrrell Hatton at 4-under.
Hole 17 – Par 3
Not a great shot off the tee, but his miss was safe from the water. His chip is quite useful, setting up a tap-in par. Still 2-over through eight.
Hole 16 – Par 4
Known as “The Green Mile” due to the difficulty and length, Quail Hollow’s final three holes on the back-nine are quite the test. Tiger’s played No. 16 3-over in 21 career rounds, and even though his drive caught the left rough, he’s got a decent look at the green. His approach landed a ways from the cup, setting up a two-putt par. Still 2-over through seven.
Hole 15 – Par 5
Tiger desperately needs a birdie here to get on track. He’s failed to take advantage of the par 5’s, but by the looks of his club twirl on No. 15, he’s happy with is drive: perfectly down the middle of the fairway. His approach shot finds the green-side bunker, but he’s got plenty of green to work with and his game out of the sand has been strong this season. Not a great effort here, though. It’s still a birdie chance, but he’s got a lot of green to cover. Two-putt par, once again. 2-over through six. On to “The Green Mile.”
While Tiger and Brooks Koepka struggled to convert, Patrick Reed was chipping in for eagle:
Hole 14 – Par 4
Tiger goes 3-wood again on No. 14 today, and the result off the tee is the same: bunker. He had a tough out, leaving for a lengthy birdie putt. Tiger gave it a ride but it missed low and left. His par putt misses about an inch left. Bogey it is. 2-over through five.
You’d think a group full of major winners would have a bit more excitement, but it’s been a pretty dull showing thus far.
Hole 13 – Par 3
Tiger’s feeling it with his irons. He went right for the flag and has another great look at birdie. These putts have to start falling some time! Just not this time. He misses by a few inches and taps in for another disappointing par. 1-over through four.
Hole 12 – Par 4
Just like yesterday, Tiger rips a stinger right down the middle of the fairway. His approach shot is b-e-a-utiful as well, leaving for a good look at birdie to get back on track. The putt never had a chance, Tiger left it short, and just like yesterday, he leaves a great birdie chance on the table with a two-putt par. 1-over through three.
Leaderboard update: John Petersoon took the lead late on Thursday, shooting a 6-under 65. Keith Mitchell sits in second at 5-under, followed by Johnson Wagner, Peter Malnati and Tyrrell Hatton T3 at 4-under.
Hole 11 – Par 4
Tiger pured a 3-wood right down the fairway. Great tee shot after a disappointing opening hole. His approach shot was beautifully spun back, until it caught a slope near the front of the green. The ball trickled down, leaving a difficult look to get up-and-down. His chip comes up short, leaving a save for par. The frustration is showing early as the par putt misses, leaving a tap-in bogey. A wasted drive leads Tiger to 1-over through two.
Hole 10 – Par 5
Starting off on a par-5 with a chance a birdie could be a great jolt for Tiger’s round. His drive off the tee leaked into the rough, setting up for a second shot at the green that found its way into the green-side bunker. His out wasn’t great, but set up a look at birdie. The putt missed low and right, setting up a par that should’ve been a birdie to start the round. Even after one.