Tiger Woods shows true colours in desperate search for US Open answers

June 13, 2024

Tiger Woods’ 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 got off to a tough start in testing conditions in Thursday’s opening round, and in the aftermath headed straight back to the range

Tiger Woods wasted no time in working on his golf game in the aftermath of his opening round at the U.S. Open, heading straight to the driving range after carding a four-over-par 74 at Pinehurst No. 2.

Woods was part of the early wave of players competing in the opening round of the third major of the year, but it proved to a tough day for the three-time champion. Despite showing glimpses of his old self with two birdies, six bogeys ensured he has work to do heading into tomorrow.

In Woods’ defence, the North Carolina course is proving a tough test for the majority in the field, with the brutal rough and lightening quick greens leaving even some of the world’s best players in a spot of bother.

Woods is playing in just his fourth tournament of the campaign at the U.S. Open, as he continues to play a part-time schedule amid his struggles for full fitness. The 15-time major winner’s injury problems have been well documented in recent years, hence his decision to limit his playing time to look after his body.

This time around though it appears Woods is keen to keep up the workload in order to find some form ahead of tomorrow, having taken to the practice facilities with his son Charlie. Amid his fitness issues, Woods did appear comfortable whilst out on the course competing in the North Carolina heat.

Discussing his body post-round, he said: “I’m physically getting better as the year has gone on. I just haven’t been able to play as much because I just don’t want to hurt myself pre, then I won’t be able to play in the major championships.It’s pick your poison, right?

“Play a lot with the potential of not playing, or not playing and fight being not as sharp.” The biggest question heading into the tournament was just how brutal the Pinehurst track would play for the world’s best, with a number of big names in the build-up opening up on the sheer task presented by the course.

Woods believes the setup is exactly how the USGA were hoping it would play on day one. “The greens are right where they want ’em,” he commented. “A lot of the pins were right up on the crest of the green. A lot of the pins were — if you dumped the ball in the middle of the green, it was into the grain then down grain, into the grain and then down grain.

“That’s how the golf course is going to be set up. We know that going in here. Just a matter of putting the ball in correct spots and just making a bunch of pars and occasionally a birdie here and there, it can be done.” Woods will return for round two on Friday, and will once again be joined by day one playing partners, Matt Fitzpatrick and Will Zalatoris.