Tiger Woods opened with a two-under 70 on Thursday at Muirfield Village, a solid showing after a quick exit at the PGA Championship two weeks before. However, Woods will need to do some work on Friday afternoon to get into the weekend mix, as a host of players have gone low in the morning wave. Follow the Golf Digest Live Blog to get all your Tiger-centric Columbus coverage as the 43-year-old attempts to capture victory No. 82.
1:48 p.m.: Finally, the short stuff. Woods goes with iron off the tee at the short third, and finds the lefthand side of the fairway. Good position to make his first bird of the day.
1:42 p.m.: Tiger finds his ball and punches out to about 80 yards. From there, he nearly spins it back into the hole, leaving a tap-in par. Nice bounce-back that hopefully gets him on track.
1:34 p.m: Again with the fairway wood, Woods goes way left again, this time miles away from the fairway. That could be trouble.
Not having trouble: Jordan Spieth. The Texan gets up-and-down for par on the first, and rolls in a putt from off the green on No. 2 for another save after a duffed shot.
1:30 p.m.: Woods goes with the Texas wedge off the green; alas, rolls it a good five-six feet by.
And he lips it out. Bogey for Woods, dropping him to one under for the tournament, eight back of leader Troy Merritt.
1:25 p.m.: Remarkable recovery from Woods. Despite a restricted follow through due to a tree, Tiger slashes an approach out of the rough that runs just short of the green. Great chance to save par after that tough tee shot.
1:20 p.m.: Woods goes with fairway wood off the first, but overcooks it something fierce, flying left into the rough. Only hope is the ball is in a trampled down area. We are off.
1:00 p.m.: Woods will again be playing with Justin Rose and Bryson DeChambeau. The group was put on the clock yesterday morning, and DeChambeau was given an individual bad time on the fifth hole.
“It’s one of those things where it’s a group effort to try to get back in position,” Woods said. “The group ahead of us, JT doesn’t take a lot of time, Rory plays quick, and Jordan was 7 under through 13 holes. So they’re obviously playing fast, and we were obviously not.”
Expect a few extra eyes on their pace this afternoon.
12:52 p.m.: Though Woods’ Thursday performance was a good start, it was a round noted for what could have been. “It was close to being easily a few more under par,” the reigning Masters champion, said. “It was soft enough; it was gettable. And I just didn’t quite do it. I had a couple of loose irons. But look at the scores. They’re all getting after it today. I was close to being out there with them.”
Though five back isn’t that much of a Day 1 deficit, Woods will be looking up to start his second round. Emiliano Grillo and Troy Merritt both sit at nine under which just a few holes left, while a host of other notables like Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler sit at seven. With five Memorial wins under his belt, clearly few know the Columbus confines like Woods. Nevertheless, he will not be afforded much latitude this afternoon.