Open 2009: Tiger toils at Turnberry

Published 16/07/2009 19:40:01

Red-hot favourite and world number one Tiger Woods toiled at the tricky Turnberry course today on day one of the 138th Open Championship. Woods has won three tournaments this year and few could look further than the 14-time major winner to lift a fourth Claret Jug. However the Ailsa course had other ideas.


Although conditions were unusually benign with winds calm, Woods struggled to get his drives straight and simply didn't have the required accuracy off the tee. It was well documented that the rough was lethal and any errant shots were always going to be heavily punished. Woods also hit an embarrassing topped shot at the 9th.


Tiger carded a 1-over par 71, some 7 shots off clubhouse leader Miguel Angel Jimenez in a round that included three birdies but four bogeys. Perhaps the worst thing about the round was that scoring was easy in comparison to past Opens - five-time winner Tom Watson carded a 65 at the grand old age of 59.


tiger woods british open 2009

"I certainly made a few mistakes out there today,'' Woods said. "Realistically I probably should have shot about 1- or 2-under-par today. But I made a few mistakes, and consequently I'm at 1 over. ... I hit a couple of shots to the right today, and three-ripped [putted] a hole from about 15 feet, and I didn't take advantage of 17 [a par-5]. So there you have it.''


Woods looked agitated throughout and threw his club away in disgust several times. He was outplayed by both of his partners, both of which looked undaunted by the added media interest.


However, Woods isn't number one for nothing, if he can hold his own when the weather gets worse - just like he did at Hoylake in 2006 - then perhaps a fourth Claret Jug isn't out of his reach.


"The misses I had were the same shots I was hitting on the range,'' Woods said. "So I need to go work on that and get it squared away for tomorrow.''


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