One month and one day after his dramatic Masters victory, Tiger Woods is in pursuit of his 16th major championship with the first round of the PGA Championship underway at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y. He is grouped with defending champion Brooks Koepka and Francesco Molinari, making it a trio of the winners from the last four major championships. Follow all the action here.
Tiger Woods finishes his day at two-over
Hole 9 (his 18th) — Par 4, 474 yards: With three bogeys in the past four holes, Tiger Woods is just looking to finish the round on a positive note. The wheels might not be quite off, but the lug nuts are loosened. Tiger hits a 281-yard tee shot that’s just short of the fairway bunker. He has 182 to the hole. Hits his approach to the back of the green, an inch into the fringe, setting up a 22-foot putt. In position for an easy par. He comes up just short on his putt and taps in for par.
Sam Farmer | 10:34 a.m.
Brooks Koepka is still on fire
Tiger Woods bogeys for the third time in four holes
Hole 8 (his 17th) — Par 3, 223 yards: Par here is a great score. This hole is protected in front by the only pond on the whole property, and this place is as big as Long Island itself. Koepka has a stranglehold on this tournament so far, while Tiger and Molinari look a little wobbly. Woods has bogeyed two of three after playing his first four holes on the back — which is the front, actually — in minus-four.
Logjam on this hole has group waiting on tee for 10 minutes for the green to clear. Wind can be a problem on this hole, which is way out in the far corner of the property.
Woods hits a five-iron almost pin high to the right side. He’s just off the green in the second cut, fairly close to the cup but he has to come out of the grass. Tiger blows a bump and run past the hole, still figuring out the speed of the greens. He’s got almost nine feet left for par. Now, he misses just left. Gives back another stroke with a bogey; back to plus-2.
Sam Farmer | 10:10 a.m.
Frustrated Tiger is back at one-over
Hole 7 (his 16th) — Par 4, 495 yards: Tough hole. Only three birdies here so far. Bunkers bracketing fairway are definitely in play from the tee, slightly more than 300 yards away. Tiger hits three-wood off the tee, with a slight fade that lands safely in the fairway. He’s 285 off the tee, leaving him with 214 to the pin.
(The other player in Woods’ threesome is 2018 British Open winner Francesco Molinari, who keeps missing left and once again has to lay up. He’ll wind up with a bogey.)
Tiger’s approach hits pin high on the left fringe before trickling onto the green. That sets up a meaty 55-foot putt that’s slightly uphill. He leaves the flagstick in and comes up well short — 6 feet, 7 inches remaining. This range was automatic for the Tiger of old. And he misses again, this time an inch to the right. Taps in for bogey. Frustration shows on his face.
Sam Farmer | 9:55 a.m.
Tiger Woods makes par
Hole 6 (his 15th) — Par 4, 392 yards: Woods hits iron off the tee. Slight draw has him just off the fairway, in the sand to the left. He grimaces, missing even though he was playing it safe. Tiger is hitting out of a bunker, which is actually better than the rough. His approach hits the green but fails to spin back, so he has a lot coming back — a 47-footer.
Woods starts his putt right… and it kind of stays there before bending back to the left a bit at the end. He’s got 2½ feet remaining. Knocks it in. Not bad after missing the fairway.
Like always, Woods has a massive gallery. As a bonus to those spectators, he’s playing with Brooks Koepka, who’s leading at 6-under. He’s an unwavering machine.
Sam Farmer | 9:37 a.m.
Tiger Woods is back at even after bogey
Hole 5 (his 14th) — Par 4, 481 yards: Third toughest hole on the course. Tiger clears a massive sand trap with a 289-yard drive striped down the middle. He’s got 193 to the hole, the green surrounded by bunkers. He’s a little frustrated after hitting an iron to the back of the green. He’s putting, so that’s good, but he leaves himself with 32 feet. Slippery downhill birdie putt that slides feet past the cup. He’s got four feet coming back up. He rims out, still struggling with his short-range putts. A bogey puts him back to even.
Sam Farmer | 9:21 a.m.
A look at the leaderboard
Tiger Woods’ surge to one-under through 13 holes has moved him into a tie for fifth place. Brooks Koepka remains on fire and the leader at five-under through 13. Tommy Fleetwood (through 16) and Luke List (through 11) are tied at three-under, and Matt Wallace is at two-under through 12.
Chuck Schilken | 9:13 a.m.
Tiger Woods eagles to go to one-under
Hole 4 (his 13th) — Par 5, 516 yards: This is the easiest hole on the course, where there’s only been one bogey so far today. The breeze is picking up. Tiger hits his drive 298 yards to the fairway just past the bunker to the left, leaving him with 210 yards to the pin. He’s on in two, his ball rolling past the hole, a shot that put him in position for eagle. He has a putt of 35 feet coming back. And he drains it for eagle. He’s four-under in his last four holes.
Sam Farmer | 9:05 a.m.
Hole 3 (his 12th) — Par 3, 235 yards: After two double-bogeys in his first nine holes, Woods – who started on the back nine – opened the front with consecutive birdies on Holes 1 and 2. He just missed a nine-foot birdie putt on No. 3, though, and tapped in for par. He could have pulled to even par.
Sam Farmer | 8:41 a.m.
Hole 2 (his 11th) — Par 4, 377 yards: Now we’re talking! Tiger Woods makes birdie for the second consecutive hole after hitting his tee shot straight down the middle, then hitting a sweet shot to set up a four-foot birdie putt. Woods is putting those two double-bogeys in the rear view now at one-over for the day. Still no smile though.
Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood are tied for the lead at four-under.
Chuck Schilken | 8:33 a.m.
Tiger Woods gets another birdie
Hole 1 (his 10th) — Par 4, 426 yards: The back nine looked like it was going to start out as rough as the front, as Tiger Woods missed the fairway right into some trees. But he recovers nicely with a shot that lands about 20 feet behind the pin, then sinks the birdie putt to go to two-over for the day. Just like back at Hole 15, Tiger shows little emotion after the clutch putt but does offer a slight wave to the roaring crowd.
Chuck Schilken | 8:15 a.m.
Hole 18 (his ninth) — Par 4, 403 yards: After hitting his tee shot 266 yards to the left fairway, Tiger Woods’ approach drops about 20 feet above the hole. He just misses on his birdie putt to make far and finish the front nine at three-over. He’s six back of Brooks Koepka, who is one of four players (Matt Wallace, Chez Reavie, Tommy Fleetwood) tied for the lead at three-under. Still a lot of golf left today and this weekend.
Chuck Schilken | 8:06 a.m.
Tiger Woods double-bogeys again
Hole 17 (his eighth) — Par 3, 199 yards: Again, not the way Woods would have wanted his pursuit of his 16th major championship to start out. He missed the green right and landed in the bunker. After hitting to about 20 feet from the hole, Woods triple putts for his second double-bogey of the front nine. He’s three-over for the day.
Chuck Schilken | 7:56 a.m.
A look at the leaderboard
Hole 16 (his seventh) — Par 4, 488 yards: Tiger Woods nearly hits a chip shot for birdie but instead makes par to remain at one-over. Matt Wallace is the early leader at four-under after six. Koepka is one of six golfers at two-under.
Chuck Schilken | 7:50 a.m.
Tiger Woods gets his first birdie
Hole 15 (his sixth) — Par 4, 486 yards: The uphill 15th hole might seem like an odd place for Woods to get his first birdie of the tournament, but that’s just what happened. He hit the fairway again, then a beautiful iron to set up a birdie putt from 15 feet out. He calmly nails it and responds to the crowd with a wave. He’s now one-under for the day.
Chuck Schilken | 7:32 a.m.
Hole 14 (his fifth) — Par 3, 167 yards: Tiger Woods hit the middle of the green with his tee shot, then missed his birdie putt by about five feet and settles for par to remain at two over. Meanwhile, Koepka makes birdie and goes to two-under.
Chuck Schilken | 7:10 a.m.
Tiger Woods is at 2-over after four
Hole 13 (his fourth) — Par 5, 609 yards: Tiger Woods recovered from a bad wedge with a nice chip shot to set up a putt for par on his fourth hole.
Chuck Schilken | 6:46 a.m.
Tiger Woods makes par on his third hole
Hole 12 (his third) — Par 4, 502 yards: Tiger Woods might be getting into the flow now. He found the fairway on his first shot and the green on his second. He went right on a tricky 39-foot putt for birdie and comes away with par, still two-over for the day. Koepka is still one under.
Chuck Schilken | 6:38 a.m.
Tiger Woods can breathe a little easier after his second hole
Hole 11 (his second) — Par 4, 444 yards: Much better. Tiger Woods teed off to the middle of the fairway and was set up for a tricky shot for birdie. That shot scared the hole and Tiger had to settle for par but chances are he’ll take it after that disastrous start to the day.
Chuck Schilken | 6:20 a.m.
Tiger Woods double-bogeys his first hole
Hole 10 (his first) — Par 4, 489 yards: It’s safe to say that this isn’t the way Tiger Woods wanted to start the day. Starting on the back nine, his tee-off shot went 92 yards, slightly right into the rough. The real trouble started when a wedge shot from 100 feet out flew over the green. A chip shot set him up nicely from five feet away, but Woods pushed the putt to start the tournament with a double bogey. Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka birdied the hole and is already three up on Tiger.
Chuck Schilken | 6:10 a.m.
Brooks Koepka will be Tiger Woods’ major competition at PGA Championship
Brooks Koepka is accustomed to producing low numbers, but these aren’t the kind he prefers.
When Tiger Woods finished his pre-tournament interview Tuesday at the PGA Championship, more than half the hundred or so reporters in the Bethpage Black media tent left with him. Koepka, the tournament’s defending champion and a golfer on a scorching hot streak, inspired a smattering of people to stick around.
The skies were dark over the golf course, but nothing compared to the shadow in which Koepka’s living. Woods is the main event, and Koepka’s the guy who wins a lot more than he smiles.
“I think I’m very stone-faced, very focused,” Koepka told the half-empty room at his news conference, the brim of his black cap pulled low and almost over his eyes. “But I also don’t want to give you guys an idea of what’s going on. I’m not nervous at all. … I think a lot of times it’s more not to let anybody know what’s going on in my head, keep it kind of a mystery.”
Sam Farmer | May 14
Tiger Woods is impressed with Peyton Manning
Clearly, there’s strong mutual respect between Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning.
In Monday’s edition of The Times, Manning recounted discussions he had with Woods about carrying on with a career after a string of major operations. Manning won a Super Bowl after four neck surgeries; Woods won the Masters after four back surgeries.
Woods elaborated on the topic in his news conference Tuesday in preparation for the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.
He remembers playing at Medalist Golf Club in Florida with Manning in 2012, after the quarterback had left Indianapolis and had signed with Denver. At the time, Manning told Woods he was able to do only six pushups — yet he went on to win comeback player of the year that season, and his fifth most valuable player award a year later.
Sam Farmer | May 14
Can Tiger Woods break Jack Nicklaus’ majors record? Tom Brady weighs in
The golf world’s tectonic plates shifted last month when Tiger Woods won at Augusta National, collecting the 15th major championship title of his storied career and his first in 11 years.
“I’ve been watching Tiger for a long time,” New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said over the weekend in a phone interview. “I think he found a way. It’s really cool to see an athlete when they just dig deep. He’s incredibly resilient. He grinded it out, and that’s the mark I think of a great champion.”