UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wa. – It was one of those days for Tiger Woods and it was as painful for him to deal with as it was for golf fans to watch.
And those days are becoming more frequent than at any time in his career.
Woods shot a 10-over par 80 – his worst round ever in a U.S. Open – and beat only two players in the 156-player event at the links-style Chambers Bay.
“Not very happy, that’s for sure. It was a tough day,” Woods said. “Got off to a bad start. I stuck that 6-iron in the ground on the first hole, and then just couldn’t quite get it turned around today.”
“The hardest part is trying to leave yourself below the hole and you can’t because the putts coming down the hills are just — they’re tough to make, put it that way. But the bright side is at least I kicked Rickie’s butt today.”
Only Fowler, who was among the favorites entering the tournament, at 11-under and Rich Berberian Jr., at 13-under were worst than Woods, the former No. 1 player in the world and 14-time major champion.
“It’s one of those things, just got to work through it,” Woods said. “I’m trying as hard as I can to do it, and for some reason I just can’t get the consistency that I’d like to have out there.
“I didn’t play much last year and I haven’t played much this year. Knee surgeries are pretty easy compared to a back surgery, the recovery time. And for some reason, it’s just a lot harder dealing with a nerve than a joint.”
Woods, who is on his fourth swing coach, insists that he is on the right track.
“I am, I am. I know when I do it right, it’s so easy,” Woods said. “It just feels easy to control, easy to do it, easy to hit all my shots. I just need to do it more often and build from there.
“I’ve gone through tough phases in each one of these things and I’ve come out okay on the other side.”
Woods, who shot an career-high 85 in the third round of the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago, had shot 76 three times in his previous career worst round.