May 16 at 8:25 AM
Tiger Woods is on the course at the PGA Championship, his first tournament round since his Masters win Thursday. We’ll follow his progress at Bethpage Black throughout his first round here.
In a threesome with Brooks Koepka and Francesco Molinari, Woods is starting on the back nine, an instant challenge with three long Par 4s, two of them 500-plus yards. Coverage of the featured groups is streaming on PGA.com, and is also available on the tournament’s app. A stream is also available through B/R Live. Thursday’s television coverage begins at 1 p.m. on TNT.
Koepka has won two of the past four majors and three of the past seven he’s entered and is coming off a T-2 at the Masters. Molinari is the defending British Open champion and was leading this year’s Masters until he fell apart with seven holes left. He’s finished no worse than T-6 in the last three majors and also was devastating at last year’s Ryder Cup. Woods, as you may have heard, benefited from Molinari’s distress to win his fifth green jacket and 15th Grand Slam at Augusta last month.
[At 43, Tiger Woods saves it for the first tee. At 29, Brooks Koepka swaggers to it.]
Here’s what else you need to know about Woods entering the tournament.
No-show on Wednesday
Woods was scheduled to play a practice round at Bethpage Black on Wednesday with Harold Varner III but never materialized, meaning he will have played all of nine holes this week in preparation for the tournament. It was an odd enough occurrence that Mark Steinberg, Woods’s manager, went on the record to dispel rumors that his client wasn’t feeling well.
“He’s all good, just getting some rest,” Steinberg told ESPN.com. “Saw the course last week, all is good.”
Woods played 18 holes at Bethpage Black last week, but it will be 32 days between competitive rounds for the 15-time major champion when he tees off Thursday morning.
Per the Golf Channel’s Steve DiMeglio, Tiger was asked if everything was okay while on the putting green at 6:50 a.m. Thursday.
“Yes, sir,” was the reply. “Feeling good.”
He’s been on a break
For whatever reason – he said this week he “wasn’t ready yet to start the grind of practicing and preparing” – Woods has not played in a tournament since his Masters triumph, the fifth time in his career he has skipped everything on the schedule between grand slams. Here’s what happened on his previous four breaks:
1999: British Open (tied for 7th) –> PGA Championship (won)
2006: Masters (T-3) –> U.S. Open (missed the cut in his first tournament after the death of his father)
2008: Masters (2nd) –> U.S. Open (won after undergoing knee surgery; he would need another knee operation, this one ending his season, soon after)
2013: U.S. Open (T-32) –> British Open (T-6)
“Being well rested is more important than anything,” Joe LaCava, Woods’s caddie, told USA Today earlier this week. …read more
Source:: Daily times