Tiger’s first tee major nerves continue at US Open
What is it about Tiger Woods and coming unstuck on the opening hole of a Major?
Woods found the opening fairway with a 2-iron to commence his first US Open since 2015 but would walk off a few minutes later with a triple-bogey.
His Shinnecock Hills start was the latest chapter in many bizarre Major Championship first tee misadventures for Woods.
Next month Woods will return to Carnoustie for the 147th staging of the Open Championship where in 2007 he sent his opening 2-iron tee shot left and out-of-bounds into the Barry Burn that runs the virtual length of the first hole.
Tiger Woods tees off at the 2018 US Open (Credit: Anthony Powter)
Earlier official Open Championship starter Ivor Robson had introduced Woods in his famed manner: “Ladies and gentleman. Next of the tee from the United States of America – Tiger Woods”.
Robson was clearly not sure what to do when Woods had to reload.
It might be of some small comfort to Woods that the Barrie Burn next month is being classed as a ‘lateral hazard’.
At the 2001 Masters, Woods clinched the consecutive Grand Slam despite missing Augusta’s first fairway all four rounds.
Two months later in the 2001 US Open at Southern Hills and also the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which he didn’t win, again Woods missed the first fairway all four rounds
In 2003, Woods had dozens looking for his opening tee shot down the first at Royal St. George’s.
A unknown golf ball was found by those helping in the search for Woods’ Nike ball but after five minutes Woods had to declare the ball lost and return to the tee and eventually commence with a triple-bogey ‘7’ as he did today at Shinnecock.
It turned out to be the first non-located ball in Woods’ then 7-year pro career.
Woods remarked at the time: “It was a little disconcerting. The three caddies were all telling us where the ball was but unfortunately we couldn’t find it.”
In the 2009 US Open at Bethpage Park on New York’s Long Island where this week’s US Open is being staged, Woods’ hand flew off the club as the defending champion made contact with his first drive sending the ball spiralling well to the left.
It was so far off the fairway, Woods waited on the tee for some 30 seconds before confirmation the ball had been found.
Woods had done the same on the very first same hole a year earlier at Torrey Pines.
In the 2015 Open at St. Andrews, Woods chunked his opening tee shot and then proceeded to put his second shot into the Swilcan Burn enroute to a round of 76.
At this year’s Masters, his first official tee shot at Augusta National in nearly 1,000 days, Woods sent his 3-wood shot well left into the crowd. But he recovered well to squeeze out a par.