Tiger roars with lowest PGA first round in 11 years

With the second half of the field yet to tee off for the day and Australia’s Jason Day leading the way on 5-under, it was 15-time Major-winning Tiger Woods, who was the talk of TPC Harding Park in his first major in over a year.

The 44-year-old produced his lowest opening PGA Championship round in 11-years thanks to a 2-under 68 at the US PGA Championship in San Francisco to currently sit safely inside the top-20.

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: PGA Tour)

It was also Woods’ lowest first day in any Major since the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham where he carded a 67.

Woods grabbed five birdies playing in the company of fellow PGA winners Rory McIlroy (70) and current World No. 1 Justin Thomas (71).

“Well, I felt that practice sessions have been very good,” said Woods.

“They have been very intense, and I felt like I was — I got the flow of the round early at Memorial, after taking five months off, and got off to a quick start there, and there’s no reason why I can’t do the same here.”

“I was able to do that. I made a nice putt at 10 after Rory gave me a nice little look there. I felt like I kept the round going most of the day, and I let a couple go here and there, but for the better part of the day, it was a very solid round.”

And helping Woods find the bottom of the cup with five birdies was the decision to pack a new version of his famous Scotty Cameron Newport II putter into his bag.

“I’ve been messing around with this putter for the better part of over a year,” he said.

“Rob (McNamara) and I have been talking about — you know, it’s difficult for me to bend over at times, and so practicing putting, I don’t spend the hours I used to. Wasn’t unusual for me to spend four, five, six hours putting, per day. I certainly can’t log that with my back being fused.”

“Most of the guys on the Champions Tour have gone to longer putters as they have gotten older, because it’s easier to bend over, or not bend over. And so this putter is just a little bit longer and I’ve been able to spend a little bit more time putting.”

“It’s also very similar to my sand wedge. I putt with my sand wedge all the time at home. I like the feel in my right hand. I like blading putts and hitting the ball in the equator. Not unusual for me to be messing around with something a bit longer.”

Woods will tee off tomorrow at 1:58pm local time looking for his first PGA Championship win since 2007.