ST. LOUIS — Who is aware of what time Tiger Woods awoke on Saturday morning, however like all of those that needed to end the second spherical, it was in the darkish.
And the diploma of time wanted to arrange for a protracted day of golf at the PGA Championship is undoubtedly tied to the myriad maladies related to the participant.
The course is so-so, and the climate is scorching, so let’s get this over with, proper? Wrong. With all the huge names — Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and extra — attempting to chase down Brooks Koepka, we’re in for one thing particular.
At occasions Saturday, outdated Tiger appeared like the Tiger of outdated. The roars. The membership twirls. The stroll. But one thing was nonetheless lacking. What if he finds it Sunday?
All you could learn about the 2018 version of the PGA Championship, together with day-by-day outcomes and evaluation from Bellerive.
For Woods, that meant stirring hours earlier than the 7 a.m. native tee time to undergo a stretching and remedy routine that’s required of a man who has had 4 again surgical procedures.
Ten and a half hours and 29 holes after he hit his first shot of the day, Woods finds himself once more in competition at a significant championship, 4 strokes again of chief Brooks Koepka in a tie for sixth.
It’s much like final month at Carnoustie, the place Woods additionally trailed by 4 heading into the last, held the lead with eight holes to go and ultimately tied for sixth, three strokes behind winner Francesco Molinari.
How a lot of an opportunity does Woods need to win for the first time in 5 years and seize his 15th main title?
Well, it relies upon on the way you look at it. Here are some optimistic and not-so-positive methods to view Woods’ plight in the last spherical at Bellerive Country Club.
Why he won’t win
1. Woods performed his tail off Saturday, hitting 15 of 18 greens and making 5 birdies. He stated so many occasions he felt the yardage he had right into a inexperienced matched up properly with the membership he wished to hit, that means full, fluid pictures. He gave himself quite a few possibilities — and did not convert sufficient of them.
Woods had six putts of 20 toes or shorter for birdie on the again 9 and made none. That features a Four-foot miss after lacking a 20-footer for eagle on No. 17. It was a massively squandered alternative, one that would simply have seen him grouped with Koepka in the last pairing.
The downside is it’s a lot to ask for Woods to hit the ball that properly once more and give himself these sort of alternatives. Four strokes down, he can afford no lapses, particularly with Adam Scott, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland additionally chasing Koepka in entrance of him.
2. Tiger retains displaying a irritating incapacity to complete off rounds, whether or not he is in competition or just placing collectively rating. Innisbrook, Bay Hill, TPC Sawgrass, Muirfield Village, TPC Potomac, Carnoustie. It has occurred in some kind at all of these tournaments, and it occurred once more on Saturday at Bellerive.
Woods shot 31 on the entrance and was primed to shoot 65 or decrease and could not do it. At The Open after taking the lead on the again 9, he went double-bogey and bogey earlier than enjoying the final six holes in 1 beneath. It is a development he has but to buck.
three. He has by no means come from behind to win a significant. It’s laborious sufficient at age 42 for Woods to win a significant championship. It is much more tough attempting to catch Koepka, who appears rock-solid and has received consecutive U.S. Opens. Koepka seems fearless with the driver. That vastly shortens the golf course. Tiger’s driver nonetheless stays a legal responsibility. Then there’s Scott, Rahm, Fowler, Woodland, Stewart Cink, Jason Day and Justin Thomas to cope with, as properly. Quite a bit must go proper.
After enjoying 29 holes on Saturday, Tiger Woods says the psychological side of enjoying the course has been tiring and he’ll have to shoot a low spherical Sunday to contend.
Looking at the brilliant facet
1. For all the discuss earlier in the week about Woods’ bodily well-being, it has seemingly not been a problem. After the sluggish begin on Thursday noticed him play the first two holes in three over par, he has performed the remaining 52 holes in 11 beneath. Although his driver provides him matches at time, he’s nonetheless hitting his irons properly sufficient to offer himself possibilities, and he’s due for a scorching placing spherical that may make the most of such success.
2. Woods has been constructing towards this. He has now been in competition or on the fringe of it a number of occasions, together with at The Open, the Quicken Loans National, the Players, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Valspar Championship. He has posted 4 top-10s and must be feeling extra snug in such conditions. He was in nearly precisely the similar place three weeks in the past at Carnoustie — tied for sixth, 4 again — and put himself in the lead on the again 9. Why cannot he do it once more?
three. While Woods has by no means come from behind in a significant, that stat is nearly fluky. For most of the time he was successful his 14 majors, Tiger was a supreme participant who obtained out entrance and did not make errors. And but, there have been occasions he fell behind throughout the last spherical and nonetheless received. He has received tour occasions from behind, a number of from greater than Four strokes. Maybe the approach it will get achieved now could be for Woods to exit and shoot 63 and have the others unable to the touch him. Now would not that be some strategy to win his first main in 10 years?