BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Tiger Woods was back on the PGA Tour for the first time in more than three months Thursday and said he felt “fantastic.”
He was talking about his back, not his game.
In his first tournament since March 31 back surgery, Woods made seven bogeys in a round of 3-over 74 that put him eight shots behind Greg Chalmers and in danger of missing the cut for the first time in two years. Only 19 players had a higher score.
“I made so many little mistakes,” Woods said. “So I played a lot better than the score indicated.”
Congressional had a lot to do with that. The course played tougher than it did for the U.S. Open three years ago, mainly because of the dense rough.
Chalmers kept in play for much of his round, dropping only one shot and finishing with three straight birdies. He had only 25 putts in building a one-shot lead over Ricky Barnes and Freddie Jacobson. Defending champion Bill Haas and U.S. Open runner-up Erik Compton were two shots behind.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Joe Durant, David Frost and Doug Garwood sprinted to the early lead at the Senior Players Championship, shooting 6-under 64 at defenseless Fox Chapel.
Still drying out after days of steady rain, the par-70 layout in suburban Pittsburgh offered little resistance. Frost and Garwood breezed through their rounds without making a bogey, and Durant offset his lone bogey with seven birdies.
Bernhard Langer, Corey Pavin, Larry Mize, Steve Pate, Olin Browne, Bart Bryant, Peter Fowler and Wes Short Jr. shot 65. Colin Montgomerie, the Senior PGA winner last month, opened with a 5-under 30 on the front nine before fading to a 69. Defending champion Kenny Perry, looking for his fourth major title in the last year, had a 70. He won the Tradition last month.
BMW International Open
COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — England’s Danny Willett and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello shot 8-under 64 to share the lead in the BMW International Open, while local favorite Martin Kaymer opened with a 71 at Gut Laerchenhof in his first round since winning the U.S. Open.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For the first time in more than 40 years, the PGA Championship is headed to a public golf course.
Multiple reports indicate Thursday that Harding Park in San Francisco has been selected to host the PGA Championship in 2020. That would give California majors in three consecutive years, with the U.S. Open going to Pebble Beach in 2019 and Torrey Pines in 2021.
The last PGA Championship on an affordable public course was in 1974 at Tanglewood Golf Course in North Carolina.