US PGA Championship: Tiger Woods defiant after disappointing opening 71 at Oak Hill
Last Updated: 08/08/13 9:54pm
Tiger Woods feels the heat as his opening round comes undone
Tiger Woods was keen to gloss over a poor finish to his opening round at the US PGA Championship after signing for a disappointing one-over 71.
The world No 1 arrived at Oak Hill on the back of a dominant seven-shot win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and he looked in great shape as he birdies two of his first six holes.
But he struggled for the remainder of his round, forced to scramble for pars before dropping a shot at the fourth - his 13th - after a wild tee shot.
Worse was to come at the ninth, where he fluffed a pitch into a bunker and ran up an ugly double-bogey six to slip seven behind early leader Jim Furyk.
"I'm still right there," said Woods, "As of right now I'm only six back and we have got a long way to go.
"I'm still right there. As of right now I'm only six back and we have got a long way to go."
"I played really well today. The round realistically could have been under par easily."
Woods looked certain to move to three under when he knocked a superb approach to three feet at the second, but his tentative birdie putt never even touched the hole.
"It was a tricky little putt," added Woods, whose group were on the clock at the time. "Probably should have taken a little bit longer but we were on the clock and had to get going, but I ended up blocking the putt anyways down the hill.
"We were put on the clock on the first hole so we had to get going and try to close up the gap. It would have been nice to take a little bit longer on that putt.
"Looking from behind the ball it looked like it was going to snap. Looking from behind the hole, it looked like it wasn't going to snap. I ended up playing it somewhere in between and then blocked it.
"We have to be conscious of being timed, but we play just about every week like that. We have a lot of people following us and a lot of cameras going off and movement inside the galleries. We have a tendency of having that happen and we're accustomed to it. It happens."
On his troubles at his closing hole, he added: "I was just trying to play 20 feet long and putt back and get my bogey and get out of there.
"If I happen to make a 20-footer, so be it. But it came out nowhere and I didn't get over the bunker."