Skip to main content

Woods: I shot myself in the foot

May 11, 2012 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Tiger Woods can only wonder what has gone wrong after hitting a two-over par 72 at the Players Championship.
Tiger Woods can only wonder what has gone wrong after hitting a two-over par 72 at the Players Championship.
  • Tiger Woods slumps to a two-over 72 in first round of Players Championship
  • Now seven shots off first round leader Ian Poulter
  • Woods in danger of missing second cut in a row
  • Poulter claims success comes from playing less golf

(CNN) -- It was another bad day at the office for Tiger Woods as he shot a two-over-par 74 in his opening round at the Players Championship Thursday.

The US PGA event, often referred to as the "fifth major," is worth a cool $9.5 million but Woods is unlikely to taste any of that bounty having already fallen nine shots off leaders Ian Poulter and Martin Laird.

World number seven Woods, a 14-time major champion who still dreams of breaking Jack Nicklaus' record of 18, endured a torrid time as he seeks to return to the consistency that made him virtually unbeatable a few years back.

The 36-year-old broke a 17-month drought in March with victory at Bay Hill but came to TPC Sawgrass -- where his only win was back in 2001 -- in poor form having missed the cut at Quail Hollow, only the eighth time that has happened in his career.

Tiger Woods hits back at his critics

Breaking the code? Haney on Tiger Woods
'Lefty' to enter golf's Hall of Fame
Trump threatens to sue Scotland

But after another bad opening round Woods may well miss the cut again.

"It wasn't certainly the most positive start," Woods told reporters.

"Any kind of momentum that I would build, I would shoot myself in the foot on the very next hole. Just one of those days.

"I didn't get a lot out of that round. I just didn't score. I hit decent shots in there and just got some of the worst lies."

Players Championship leaderboard

Woods had claimed before Quail Hollow that he had put his problem swing behind him and was slowly building back towards something approaching his best.

"Just be patient with it. Just keep plugging along," he said.

"In the last few months, I've put together some good rounds, won a couple tournaments, so it's there. I just need to continue doing it."

Meanwhile the man who was once lambasted for suggesting -- while Woods was at the peak of his powers and seemingly untouchable -- that he could one day challenge golf's most enigmatic player is leading the tournament.

Poulter shot a magnificent seven-under 65, dropping just one shot the entire round.

I've put together some good rounds, won a couple tournaments, so it's there. I just need to continue doing it
Tiger Woods

"It felt real solid," the Englishman told the PGA's official website.

"I got off to a nice start, hit a few good shots early on ... then four birdies in a row from nine."

And the secret of Poulter's round? According to the Englishman it was to play less golf.

"I've been busy at home, new house to move in to, stuff to occupy my mind," he explained.

"And when I haven't been (moving house), I've been hitting some balls ... My time on the range has been a small but concentrated effort."

Poulter was joined at the top by Scotland's Martin Laird, who also birdied the notoriously difficult "island" par-three 17th hole -- which cost two-time major champion Angel Cabrera nine shots on Thursday.

Laird,, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour whose last victory came at Bay Hill in 2011, completed a flawless round to be one shot clear of American Blake Adams.

Compatriots Kevin Na and Ben Crane both finished with five-under 67s, while Matt Kuchar, Bill Haas, Ben Curtis and Australia's Adam Scott were in a group of 11 players on 68.

Part of complete coverage on
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1140 GMT (1940 HKT)
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1131 GMT (1931 HKT)
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the 14th green during the third round of The Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club on September 15, 2013 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Ian Poulter kept Europe clinging on in their Ryder Cup battle with the United States in Chicago.
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.