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.
Yo @TigerWoods. Let's call it, hop in the jet, turn the heat up to 90, go home and sit by the fire in our green jacket for 6 months, come back fresh for spring 2020. Play only in 70+ degree tournaments.— Riggs (@RiggsBarstool) July 18, 2019
We're Masters champ. There's no need for this.
First swing of the Open for Tiger. First grimace of the Open for Tiger. pic.twitter.com/35tRRXIr4p— tyson (@TysonBoehne) July 18, 2019
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.