Tiger Woods gave it a good run last weekend at Riviera, charging up the leader board late on Saturday night and into Sunday morning. But the marathon days clearly got to him, as Woods faded in the final round and ultimately finished in a tie for 15th, still impressive considering he made the cut by just one shot. Afterwards, and exasperated Woods said multiple times that he couldn’t wait to take all of Monday off and not touch his clubs.
On Thursday, we’ll see if the much-needed day of rest pays off for the 14-time major winner, as he makes his debut in the WGC-Mexico. Well, technically he’s won this event seven times, but none of those came in Mexico. This is his first start South of the Border, and it’ll be fascinating to see how he maneuvers the quirky Club de Golf Chapultepec and it’s tight, tree-lined fairways. Not to mention the altitude change, which caused Woods to make a key equipment tweak that could help him off the tee this week. There were also reports that he was hitting wedge 180 yards in practice rounds, so we’ll see how he’s able to adjust in tournament play.
Before Woods teed off, he already made some news, announcing he will skip next week’s Honda Classic on Twitter. He will return to Bay Hill, where he’s won eight times. Woods being eligible to play in the WGC-Mexico certainly played a factor in the decision, as he was never going to play five straight weeks with the Honda, Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players all in a row. Unfortunately, Jack Nicklaus’ event was the odd man out.
Woods goes off at 2:03 p.m. ET on Thursday alongside Bryson DeChambeau and Mexico’s own Abraham Ancer. Follow along right here for all the important updates from his opening round.
2:31: Woods stripes an iron at No. 2 right down the middle of the fairway. Here’s video of his double at No. 1, if you’re into that kind of stuff:
2:30: Woods has started events with a double bogey before (2008 U.S. Open anyone?), but he’s already put himself in quite a hole. Check out the star-studded early leader board:
T-1 – Billy Horschel -3
George Coetzee -3
Xander Schauffele -3
Ian Poulter -3
HaoTong Li -3
Rory McIlroy -3
Dustin Johnson -3
Justin Thomas -3
Russell Knox -3
Plenty of birdies out there, and Woods could use a few quickly.
2:23: Tiger puts his fourth in a greenside bunker, then splashed his fifth out to tap-in range. Remarkable shot that he just landed on the green and let roll out. Routine double bogey.
2:20: First one was out of bounds, and the second one stayed in bounds but is in a world of trouble. So he’s hitting four from no-man’s land. No great, bob.
2:17: Woods’ tee shot was worse than we thought. He just hit a provisional, and it went dead left again. Yikes. Golf Channel’s Frank Nobilo said officials couldn’t determine if the first one was in or out of bounds. Guess we’re about to find out.
2:13: Little backup at the first tee, which is hardly surprising considering these guys drive it with 3-woods. So after waiting for the green to clear, and an absolutely electric announcement by the guy at the first tee who kicked off the proceedings by introducing TW as “TIGER, TIGER, TIGER WOODS!” we’re finally off. Not a great start for Woods though, as he pulls one badly into the trees down the left side.
1:46: Woods is still going through his warmup, which apparently took place next to Patrick Reed on the range:
Good vibes all around!