Not Out of the Woods: Tiger Battles Through Tough Start to Phoenix Open

Tiger Woods officially teed off for his first Waste Management Phoenix Open since 2001 and just his second PGA Tour event in six months. It got off to a very rocky start as he was four over par through his first four holes and as much as five over in the front nine. He was hitting from the desert, dodging cacti and having issues with his chipping around the green. 

But he managed to weather the storm as he fought back to shoot three under on the back nine to finish two under par with a 73. 

Here is what he had to say to the media after his opening round.

His use or lack their of with wedges: Used a couple more four-irons actually. Some of my old school shots from Augusta. I’m just having a hard time finding the bottom. Because of my old pattern, I was so steep on it, that I have a new grind on my wedge and sometimes it’s hard to trust. 

Working through struggles after swing changes: I have been through this before. It’s not the first time I have gone through this. It takes time. It’s just a frustrating thing where I just need to get through competitive rounds. I need to get rounds under my bet and get a feel for it. Eventually I start trusting it, start shaping shots, and then you just go play. 

Adjustments for the mental side of his game: I didn’t get into the mental rhythm of the round for a while. It took a little time and unfortunately I was making bogeys through that stretch. But then I starting finding the rhythm of the round, the rhythm of competing and playing, shaping shots and hitting them to the safety zones or being aggressive and taking on certain shots, you know, and just getting a feel for that. That just takes time.

Tired after first 18 or ready to go again?: Physically, I am fine. I feel great. Mentally I’m a little tired from the grind of trying to piece together a round when I was five-over par. And I fought back to give myself a decent look going into the weekend. I’m proud of that because that takes a lot of mental energy to be able to fight back like that.

Tiger tees off at 7:57am Friday morning from the 10th tee to being his second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.