Tiger Woods began the day with a gallery of fans that stood about five deep and hung on every shot. By the end of the round he was hoping that no one was paying attention.
Woods opened the 93rd PGA Championship with the highest score he'd ever posted in the event. The 7-over 77 was two shots higher than his previous worst score in 53 rounds of competition at the PGA Championship. It was his highest opening-round score in a major championship.
The day began well for Woods, who stated that his goal for the week was a victory. He made birdie on three of the first five holes and thrust his name on the leaderboard. But that's when things began to go amiss; over the next 13 holes he was 10 over par, with three double-bogeys.
“I'm not down. I'm really angry right now,” Woods said.
Even worse were the results for Ryo Ishikawa, the 19-year-old from Japan who is ranked No. 40 in the world. He shot 45 on the front and 40 on the back for an 85 that leaves him dead last. Over an eight-hole stretch, Ishikawa was 13 over par, with a triple bogey and four double bogeys.
Duluth resident Stewart Cink had a strong back nine and remained in contention after the first round. The former Georgia Tech star strung together three consecutive birdies on his second nine and finished with a 1-under 69.
“I just kept plugging,” Cink said. “Today was a pretty decent round out there. By no means was it really where I wanted to end up. But overall I was proud of myself the way I hung in there. I guess I'm trending the right way.”
David Toms, the winner when the championship was played at the Athletic Club in 2001, opened with a 72. The course is playing much longer than it did 10 years ago, which doesn't benefit a short-hitter like Toms.
“It's a different golf course,” he said. “A lot longer, different greens, a lot of fairway bunkers, a lot of fairways are kind of awkward tee shots that we didn't have the last time. It's a tougher golf course, much tougher.”