Tiger Woods opens with 3-over par on day Winged Foot was there for the taking

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MAMARONECK, N.Y. — Tiger Woods didn’t get the start he wanted — and needed — on a day when Winged Foot was at its easiest.

Woods finished his morning round at 3-over par and was already eight shots behind playing partner Justin Thomas’ lead. Back in his heyday it wouldn’t seem insurmountable but Woods has been burying himself with poor starts lately.

“Well, we have a long way to go,” he said. “This is a long marathon of a tournament. There’s a lot of different things that can go on. I just wish I would have finished off my round better.”

Or started it better.

Woods was 2-over through five, finding three bunkers, two of them green side. He was unable to save par on four and then gave himself an awkward split-legged stance just out of the bunker on five. He missed a six-footer there for the save, perhaps the only poor putt he hit all day.

Four birdies over the next six holes around another bogey on eight got him into red numbers but the round fizzled after that with three bogeys and a closing double when he laid the sod over a chip on 18. In all, Woods made just six pars, six bogeys and that one double.

“It was a bit of ebb and flow to the round today,” he said. “I did not finish off the round like I needed to. I made a bunch of putts in the middle part of the round. It seemed like most of my drives on the front nine landed in the fairway and ended up in bad spots, and I tried to stay as patient as possible, and unfortunately just did not finish off my round the way I needed to.”

Woods said the course setup was “fantastic” with some very fair pin positions that let the players go after some flags on relatively soft greens.

“I just think that the golf course is there to be had,” he said. “Obviously they could have made it a lot more difficult if they wanted to. I don’t see any reason why it won’t get harder and get more difficult.”

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