PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tiger Woods was injured in the neck by a brute called the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course on Thursday in the first round of the championship The Players.
Woods withstood a dam start, however, took the lead at the points around the turn and resisted a back-and-forth come-back to take the best of the 7,189-yard muscular stage with a 2 under normal. .
He had five shots from the first set of Tommy Fleetwood and Keegan Bradley. World No. 6 Rory McIlroy, who is five of the top-six out of five starts this year, is also on the front page of the 67-year-old standings.
The course of the stadium was fierce, especially with swirling winds that arrived around noon and sharpened his teeth. Ninety minutes later, Woods was shaky early in the game, which included a snap at the second tee that hit trees and stopped just 190 yards away. His bogey on the third was the result of a tee shot to the left of the putting green, from where he was forced to throw laterally.
Woods fought back from the fourth goal as his t-shirts began to find the goals and he was approaching the greens. The Birdies of the 7th, 10th, 12th and 13th years earned him 2 cents. His only boguey during his turn around the turn came at the 11th-5 standard when his second shot at 251 yards ended in a water hazard.
Woods finished with two birdies and two bogeys in his last five holes and realized a single equal foot at the back.
"I had the feeling that I could have had something in the '60s today and that I did not really get the best start," Woods said. "I tackled some bad shots early, rectified, made some adjustments, and then took care of my things. And then the last nine, there are nine holes on the last nine, did a par, so it was interesting.
"Usually, if I had a peer, it's usually 30 or 29 years old, not what I did today."
Instead, Woods shot 34 out of the last nine.
The 2001 and 2013 player champion recently started working on his putting with Matt Killen, who was with Woods during a practice session on Monday and at the practice session on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Woods liked what he did with the putter in the first round. He had 30 putts.
TIGER TRACKER: Short shot of the first round of Woods
"Well, it was not like I had to do a lot of things," said Woods. "I've just returned to something I'm doing naturally. I put with the toe in motion and release the toe. My face moves a lot more than most players and we come back to that.
"I feel like I can go on and hit again with my right hand. That's how I always put. I've always had a lot of blows in my stroke, and I felt good again. I felt like I drove it today. I felt able to ride and I felt comfortable. I was able to tear it up and I felt very good.
Woods hopes there will be a rehearsal on Thursday in the second round, where beginners will face quieter conditions. Woods left at 8:32 am ET Friday. Thursday, there was little wind to face the morning wave.
"Let's hope we can find it on the quiet side, have smoother greens and display a low number, then see if the guys have to deal with what we had to face in the afternoons with very windy favorable, "said Woods.
As for his neck, he said that everything was fine. At the 14th hole, when he missed the fairway on the right, he had to face a steep uphill slope with thick grass. Woods took a powerful cut by cutting the ball towards the green. It was his fiercest momentum of the day, but it did not cause any pain in the neck.
"No, that suits me perfectly," said Woods.
And he was rather satisfied after his battle with the stadium.