Golf

The Open Championship 2019: Tiger Woods is playing poorly and it's stressing us all out

tiger_mad.png
Golf Channel

The Open Championship 2019: Tiger Woods is playing poorly and it's stressing us all out

Tiger Woods carded a front-nine five-over-par 41 during his first round of the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

It looked bad from the very beginning as he pulled an iron off the first tee into the fescue on the left and grimaced.

That's not just any "Aw shucks, I hit it in the rough" grimace. That's the grimace of a 43-year-old with a fused spine playing golf in cold, windy and rainy weather after not playing competitive golf since the U.S. Open about a month ago.

Woods said that the chilly, damp weather at Pebble Beach made it difficult for him to get loose during the U.S. Open, which would make it a fair assumption that the 15-time major winner is struggling with his back in similar weather at Royal Portrush.

But if there's anybody who can overcome physical issues on the course, it's Tiger Woods. He did, after all, win the 2008 U.S. Open on a broken leg. He seemed to weather the storm with a world-class par on the first after two poor shots. He had makeable birdie opportunities on the second and third holes, but missed both.

Then the squares on the scorecard came. Woods went bogey, double-bogey, bogey, par, bogey, bogey between the fifth and 10th holes. He hasn't looked particularly comfortable at any point during the round.

That reality has drawn reactions from just about everybody watching. 

It hasn't gone much better for Big Cat since. As somebody who moves the needle more than anybody else in the sport, nobody wants to watch him play like this. There's still some time left in Round 1, but things aren't looking good for Woods.

2019 Open Championship: How to watch, TV Channel, Tee Times, Groupings, Odds

rory_mcilroy_usopen_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

2019 Open Championship: How to watch, TV Channel, Tee Times, Groupings, Odds

For the first time in 68 years, the golfing world will convene in Northern Ireland for a major championship, as Royal Portrush Golf Club will host the 148th Open Championship.

The final major of the season will provide an unfamiliar test for players of all ranks, as many have never before played this links course nestled along the northern Irish coast.

Rory McIlroy will be competing for a major title in his home country for the first time. The world No. 3 is having one of his strongest seasons in recent memory, winning two tournaments and finishing inside the top-10 at the most recent two majors. McIlroy, looking for his first major title since 2014, is the betting favorite in Vegas (8-1). Why not win the next one on home soil?

As with any major, all eyes will be on Tiger Woods. He has never played Royal Portrush, but his three Open Championship titles illustrate that he knows how to win across the pond. Woods has not teed it up for a competitive round since last month's U.S. Open, but many will anticipate a strong showing this weekend.

World No. 1 Brooks Koepka will continue to be a favorite in every major until he proves otherwise. The bomber has won four major titles since June of 2017 and has finished no worse than runner-up in this year's three previous major championships. Although his results have fallen off since his runner-up finish at the U.S. Open last month, Koepka can never be counted out on the big stage.

With many other tantalizing storylines and plenty of golfers with a realistic chance to win this week, sit back, relax and watch as many hours of golf as you can:

2019 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP HOW TO WATCH:

What: The 148th Open Championship

When: Thursday, July 18th – Sunday, 21st

Where: Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush, Northern Ireland

DAY 1 COVERAGE (Thursday, July 18):

Time (ET)/TV Channel: 1:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Golf Channel)

DAY 2 COVERAGE (Friday, July 19):

Time (ET)/TV Channel: 1:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Golf Channel)

DAY 3 COVERAGE (Saturday, July 20):

Time (ET)/TV Channel: 5 a.m. - 7 a.m. (Golf Channel), 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. (NBC)

DAY 4 COVERAGE (Sunday, July 21):

Time (ET)/TV Channel: 4 a.m. - 7 a.m. (Golf Channel), 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. (NBC)

All four rounds of the tournament can also be streamed online at GolfChannel.com, TheOpen.com and NBCSports.com.

2019 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST ROUND TEE TIMES (ET), GROUPINGS (ALL OFF No. 1):

1:35 a.m. -- Darren Clarke, James Sugrue (a), Charley Hoffman
1:46 a.m. -- Emiliano Grillo, Sung Kang, Thomas Thurloway (a)
1:57 a.m. -- Andy Sullivan, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Alexander Levy
2:08 a.m. -- Chan Kim, Zander Lombard, Brandon Wu (a)
2:19 a.m. -- Richard Sterne, Romain Langasque, Matthias Schmid (a)
2:30 a.m. -- Padraig Harrington, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Andrew Putnam
2:41 a.m. -- Bubba Watson, Eddie Pepperell, Rafa Cabrera-Bello
2:52 a.m. -- Phil Mickelson, Shane Lowry, Branden Grace
3:03 a.m. -- Alex Noren, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Sam Locke
3:14 a.m. -- Webb Simpson, C.T. Pan, Sergio Garcia
3:25 a.m. -- Ryan Palmer, Andrea Pavan, Dylan Frittelli
3:36 a.m. -- Kyle Stanley, Andrew Johnston, Robert Macintyre
3:47 a.m. -- Mikko Korhonen, Oliver Wilson, Curtis Knipes (a)
4:03 a.m. -- Ian Poulter, Sungjae Im, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
4:14 a.m. -- Henrik Stenson, Xander Schauffele, Graeme McDowell
4:25 a.m. -- Haotong Li, Russell Knox, Bernd Wiesberger
4:36 a.m. -- Jason Kokrak, Connor Syme, Austin Connelly
4:47 a.m. -- Zach Johnson, David Duval, Corey Conners
4:58 a.m. -- Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Scott
5:09 a.m. -- Rory McIlroy, Gary Woodland, Paul Casey
5:20 a.m. -- Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Kevin Kisner
5:31 a.m. -- Jim Furyk, Si Woo Kim, Jimmy Walker
5:42 a.m. -- Luke List, Alexander Bjork, Paul Waring
5:53 a.m. -- Shugi Imahira, Nate Lashley, Benjamin Hebert
6:04 a.m. -- Mikumu Horikawa, Callum Shinkwin, Garrick Porteous
6:15 a.m. -- Prom Meesawat, Matthew Baldwin, Jack Senior
6:36 a.m. -- Tom Lehman, Joaquin Niemann, Miguel Angel Jimenez
6:47 a.m. -- Ben An, Jorge Campillo, Chris Wood
6:58 a.m. -- Joel Dahmen, Adri Arnaus, Dimitrios Papadatos
7:09 a.m. -- Stewart Cink, Rory Sabbatini, Innchoon Hwang
7:20 a.m. -- Erik Van Rooyen, Kurt Kitayama, Jake McLeod
7:31 a.m. -- Ryan Fox, Shaun Norris, Dongkyu Jang
7:42 a.m. -- Tyrrell Hatton, Keith Mitchell, Thomas Pieters
7:53 a.m. -- Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Thorbjorn Olesen
8:04 a.m. -- Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Shubhankar Sharma
8:15 a.m. -- Billy Horschel, Aaron Wise, Jazz Janewattananond
8:26 a.m. -- Jordan Spieth, Danny Willett, Marc Leishman
8:37 a.m. -- Cameron Smith, Adam Hadwin, David Lipsky
8:48 a.m. -- Paul Lawrie, Chez Reavie, Justin Harding
9:04 a.m. -- Takumi Kanaya (a), Tom Lewis, Brandon Stone
9:15 a.m. -- Lucas Glover, Joost Luiten, Nino Bertasio
9:26 a.m. -- Ernie Els, J.B. Holmes, Abraham Ancer
9:37 a.m. -- Brandt Snedeker, Lee Westwood, Brian Harman
9:48 a.m. -- Justin Rose, Tony Finau, Lucas Bjerregaard
9:59 a.m. -- Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley
10:10 a.m. -- Tiger Woods, Matt Wallace, Patrick Reed
10:21 a.m. -- Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Matt Kuchar
10:32 a.m. -- Kevin Streelman, Doc Redman, Robert Rock
10:43 a.m. -- Adrian Otaegui, Yuta Ikeda, Isidro Benitez
10:54 a.m. -- Patton Kizzire, Sang Hyun Park, Yuki Inamori
11:05 a.m. -- Yoshinori Fujimoto, Doyeob Mun, Andrew Wilson
11:16 a.m. -- Gunn Charoenjul, Yosuke Asaji, Ashton Turner

2019 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP TOP-10 ODDS & NOTABLES (as of July 16th):

Rory McIlroy: 8-1
Brooks Koepka: 10-1
Dustin Johnson: 16-1
John Rahm: 16-1
Tiger Woods: 16-1
Justin Rose: 20-1
Francesco Molinari: 25-1
Xander Schauffele: 25-1
Henrik Stenson: 28-1
Tommy Fleetwood: 28-1
Justin Thomas: 30-1
Matt Kuchar: 30-1
Rickie Fowler: 30-1
Jordan Spieth: 35-1
Phil Mickelson: 100-1

The best public golf courses in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

usatsi_10917765_141983962_lowres.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

The best public golf courses in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

The Washington, D.C. metro area is loaded with some of the finest golf courses in the Mid-Atlantic. 

Washington, D.C. is an expensive city, and golf isn't a cheap sport, but not all the Washington, D.C. metro area golf courses are out of a reasonable price range.

Whether you're looking for birdies, bogeys or that one sweet iron on No. 17 that'll bring you back for another round, there are tons of good public golf courses in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

If you're looking for a cheap public course to get a quick 18 holes in, or nice course to continue your cash game on, the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area has the right golf course for you.

Best public golf courses in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia for 2019

Washington D.C. public golf courses

East Potomac Golf Course  

There's obviously not a ton of free space in the nation's capital, so finding courses to tee it up is difficult. That's what makes East Potomac Golf Course a must-play.

In total, there are two nine-hole offerings (one that's strictly par 3s, one that's a mix of 3s and 4s) as well as the 18-hole Blue Course.

On the Blue, you may find yourself using the Washington Monument as your target line, which is clearly quite unique to the grounds. And if you hit your wedges particularly high, you may have to contend with incoming planes that are getting set to land at Reagan National.

Those are things you can't say about any other option. 

Rock Creek Golf Course

It's located in D.C., but since it's tucked away in Rock Creek Park, it sure won't feel like it to you. Rock Creek's 18-hole, par-65 course is fairly standard on the front, but once you cross over to the back, flat fairways and accessible greens give way to extremely hilly landing zones and elevated/lowered greens. 

Now, sometimes the course isn't as kept up as you'd like, and it's important to call before committing to your tee time to ensure both 9s are open for play.

However, if you're looking for a spot that will allow you to play your round quickly, at an affordable rate and with plenty of challenges, this is your answer.

Maryland public golf courses

Hampshire Greens

Hampshire Greens is one of nine Montgomery County Public courses, and all nine are really fun, well-maintained and ideal mixes of easy holes and difficult ones. Hampshire Greens, though, sets the standard in that MCG collection.

Hampshire is always in terrific shape and presents players with all sorts of decisions to make off the tee and with their approaches. The Par 5s are especially exciting (just make sure you're warmed up for the Par 5 second, because if you aren't, you'll be walking off with a triple). 

Yes, all of the MCG courses are worth your time, including Northwest and Little Bennett, but Hampshire Greens absolutely has to be on your list. 

University of Maryland

Even Duke graduates will enjoy the UMD golf course, which has a large driving range, solid putting area and a terrific 18-hole course.

The clubhouse also features a pro shop where you can purchase lots of Maryland swag so you can at least look fresh when you post your 98.

What makes University of Maryland appealing is the five sets of tees that make it playable no matter your skill or distance. And if you're looking for an ace, you'll enjoy the tiny Par 3 eighth that shouldn't require much more than a wedge.

Plus, there are plenty of bars on Route 1 for you to recuperate at afterward. 

Blue Mash

A course that'll require every club in your bag to be working, Blue Mash isn't for just any amateur. With that being said, if you're willing to take it on, you'll stroll off No. 18 in Olney, Md., impressed with the variety of holes and conditions of the course.

If you survive the first four, that is.

Lake Presidential  

Lake Presidential, like Blue Mash, is a bit pricier than Hampshire and UMD and it's also a beast. But its designers and creators are responsible for other respected venues like South Carolina's Kiawah Island, so it'll be worth your investment (especially if you can get it at the twilight rates, where it becomes a big-time steal).

Just pack an extra sleeve or two of Titleists.

Virginia public golf courses

Westfields

Westfields' fairways are lined with trees and not houses, which makes it a peaceful place to play — as long as you're not hanging out in its hazards too much.

It's a Fred Couples-designed course, but even if your swing isn't as sweet as his, you will still be impressed as you make your way around. 

Potomac Shores 

Potomac Shores perennially ranks in top-10 rankings for Virginia and it's no secret as to why: it's a phenomenal place to golf.

Ever heard of Jack Nicklaus? He was involved in Potomac Shores' design.

It'll cost you to get out here, but nothing too wild once you consider its quality. 

Raspberry Falls 

If you're searching for a premier spot, your search is over once you land on Raspberry Falls.

It's a links-style course and is dotted with treacherous pot bunkers, which makes it different from much of what Virginia can offer. If you want to see what it's like being in The Open Championship, Raspberry Falls can simulate that for you.