Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys.
Woods bounced back with birdies all three times that he made mistakes, opening with a two-under-par 68 on a soft, gentle day for scoring at Firestone. It left him four shots behind
Woods opened with a 69 at the
"I hit a lot of good shots," Woods said. "I dropped shots at three holes out there today (and) got it right back on the very next hole."
For so many players, the opening round of this World Golf Championship at Akron, Ohio, felt like either a warmup or an audition for bigger events to follow.
Charl Schwartzel and
British Open champion
Leishman has quietly gone about his work in reasonable form, with top 10s recently at Congressional and Royal Liverpool. He had the perfect formula for Firestone, a big golf course where good scores are available by keeping the ball in play.
"I drove the ball well. It makes this course a lot easier when you're on the fairway," Leishman said. "It's pretty tough when you're playing from the rough. Then, I hit my irons really well and was rolling the ball awesome. So it's a pretty good combination for a tough golf course like this, something I can hopefully keep going."
McIlroy appeared to pick up where he left off in England. He wasn't expecting a hangover from winning his third major and didn't experience one except for his mistake from the bunker on the eighth hole.
"There's still so much to play for," he said. "No. 1 spot is up for grabs. Trying to get myself as far up the
Dustin Johnson is taking a leave of absence from golf to seek help for "personal challenges," a swift end to his season that will keep him from playing the PGA Championship, the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Ryder Cup.
In a statement Thursday from Hambric Sports Management, the 30-year-old Johnson said his leave of absence was effective immediately. It did not indicate how long he would be out, though agent David Winkle told the PGA of America he would not be at the PGA Championship next week or the Ryder Cup at the end of September.
"I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced," Johnson said. "By committing the time and resources necessary to improve my mental health, physical well-being and emotional foundation, I am confident that I will be better equipped to fulfill my potential and become a consistent champion."
He asked for privacy "as I embark upon this mission of self-improvement."
Johnson, who tied for fourth in the
As long as he stays in the top nine, he will be replaced by the next player in the standings.
"We will certainly miss Dustin Johnson at Gleneagles, and we wish him the best," U.S. captain Tom Watson said. "As one of the longest hitters in the game with an undefeated record of 3-0 at Medinah in 2012, he has clearly been an asset for the United States team. That said, the United States is a team with an abundance of talent."