A crisis that could not even pass the cut, let alone the resurrection of Woods, who had grown stronger

Tiger Woods grimaces after hitting a tee shot during the first round of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills CC (par 70) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA on the 20th (Korean time). /AFP Yonhap News

The ‘golf emperor’ dreaming of a resurrection kneels to his successor. Tiger Woods (47, USA) and Rory McIlroy (33, Northern Ireland), who played in the same group in the first round of the PGA Championship in the men’s golf major, wrote 180-degree different scorecards. Woods, who lost four strokes, made it difficult to guarantee that the cut would pass, while McIlroy, who lost five strokes, took first place on the leaderboard.

Woods caught three birdies in the first round of the PGA Championship in the men’s golf major held at Southern Hills CC (par 70) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA on the 20th (Korean time), but fell to a 4-over par 74 by pouring out 7 bogeys. . The first round was tied for 99th. The battle, at 7556 yards, was too long for the emperor with a broken leg.

The PGA Championship is Woods’ second appearance after a car accident in February last year. Woods, who had won four previous titles (1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007), said he was “stronger than he was at the Masters” ahead of the tournament, but the result was not. Woods, who started on the 10th hole, took a birdie on the first hole and the 14th hole (par 3) and started off well, but after that, he poured bogey.

The experiment with a ‘2-iron’, which was used instead of a 5-wood for this tournament, also ended in failure. It wasn’t the body it used to be, where you could freely use low-angle irons and shoot ‘stinger shots’. Woods’ green hit rate that day was only 38.89%. “The driver wasn’t bad, but the iron shot wasn’t good,” Woods said. Fortunately, it was a relief that the driver hit me well. The average driving distance was 346.4 yards, and the fairway landing rate was 71.43%.

My body was just like that. “It hurts when you put weight on it, and it hurts when you press it,” Woods said. It hurts even when I walk or twist.” “But only when I play golf. As long as he doesn’t play and don’t act like that, it’s fine.” “I’m going to start the recovery process again,” he said.

McIlroy was resurrected as ‘Thursday’s Emperor’. He shot a 5-under 65 with 7 birdies and 2 bogeys in the first round. A solo lead one shot ahead of the group tied for second place. It is the third and fifth major championship challenge in this tournament, following 2012 and 2014.

It ran fast from the start. Starting from the 10th hole (par 4), he made four consecutive birdies on the 12th to 15th holes. In the second half, there were two bogeys, but three birdies were added to reduce one more stroke. The driver averaged 373.6 yards. The fairway landing rate was 71.43%.

It was close to perfect even on the green. His putt gain was 3.337. That means he earned 3.337 more strokes from putting on the green than the average of the players in this tournament.

Thursday, when Round 1 was held, performed well, and most of the tournaments that started well were won. In 2014, when McIlroy was in his prime, the average number of strokes in the first round was 68.15. In 2014, his last major championship win, his first round record was 66 strokes. He averaged 66 at-bats in his first round in his four major wins.

However, since 2014, he has not been able to establish a relationship with the majors. Thursday’s results are particularly disappointing. The score recorded in the first round of the major tournament from 2015 to this tournament was a total of 35 over par. He was so sluggish in the first round that even hitting well in rounds 2 or 4 didn’t help.

Among Korean players, Lee Kyung-hoon (31), who won AT&T Byron Nelson last week, hit the best. He tied for 16th with a 1-under 69 shot that day. He, who is challenging to pass the first cut in the majors, said, “If we keep up the momentum from last week, we will be able to play well until Sunday.” Yang Yong-eun (50), who became the first Asian player to become the major champion by defeating Woods in this tournament in 2009, recorded a 1-over par 71 and tied for 38th with Kim Si-woo (27). World No. 1 Scottie Schaeffler (26, USA) is also tied for 38th.

Reporter Hee-chan Cho etwoods@hankyung.com

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