Woods struggles on first day of Wells Fargo Championship

Jeannie Matthews
May 5, 2018

Tiger Woods spent three months working toward one week in April. The greens were bentgrass when Woods won but have since been changed to Bermudagrass. He finished 16 shots back, his widest distance from the lead in 19 appearances at the Masters. Nor for Patrick Reed, the reigning Masters champion.

This is no time to rest.

Any score under par would put Woods into a good position after the first round, as the course at Quail Hollow was playing two strokes over par on average Thursday.

The Players Championship is the following week.

The Northern Irishman clinched his first PGA Tour victory at Quail Hollow in 2010, while American Justin Thomas last August captured his first major on the same course.

"It felt great", Woods said of the layoff. "And after that, it's getting ready for Shinnecock".

Fans from all across the country are traveling to Charlotte this weekend for the Wells Fargo Championship and to witness the return of Tiger Woods.

Quail Hollow is the only course where Woods has missed a 36-hole cut twice. If I make a couple putts, I'm two, three under par.

"The way the golf course is set up and the way it's playing right now, the guys are going to be stacked", he said. "It's longer, more hard".

Woods wasn't sure what to make of the Masters except that his irons were off. You can't hit a better tee shot than the one Tiger hit on the par-5 15th.

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"Literally, if I just putt normal I'm 5 or 6 under par", Woods said. "I struggled to make the adjustments today". While I'd find that intriguing, I don't need it.

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Reed returned last week at the Zurich Classic, a team event he played with Patrick Cantlay, and tied for seventh. So after his media obligations Thursday evening, he stepped off the podium and went straight to the putting green.

"So this year my goal was to try to get back to No. 1". That's how he measures success. "Obviously, I would never be bothered to win a golf tournament out here". "I would love to see him play well, just hopefully I can play a little bit better".

"I'm on a hot streak right now - I made the last putt", Woods joked immediately after his round.

He loves golf. He also is a father - his son was born in October - and he would be just as happy in real estate development with a few friends in Fort Worth, Texas, than chasing around birdies and bogeys from one coast to the other.

Rory McIlroy, the event's only two-time victor, is another shot off the pace in a 10-way logjam in seventh place after opening with a 3-under 68.

Woods has not won on the PGA Tour since 2013, but is optimistic about his prospects this week.

"When Tiger committed to the tournament my teacher Jordan Dempsey texted me and said, 'You should play with Tiger on Tuesday, '" Love said.

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