In his first tournament since the Masters in April, Woods finished his first nine holes at even par but soon ran into trouble.
Tiger Woods returned to a major championship on Thursday, and after a good start things started to go awry
Playing in a star-studded group with Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, Woods was at two over through 13 holes of the P.G.A. Championship. McIlroy was the early leader at five-under.
Playing at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., where he won the 2007 P.G.A. Championship, Woods at first showed few obvious signs of the severe leg injuries he sustained in a car accident in February 2021. Toward the end of his first nine holes, he appeared to start limping a little more.
Woods returned to the majors at the Masters last month after missing more than 500 days of top-flight golf following the accident. His one-under opening round raised the echoes of the past, but he struggled the rest of the way, making the cut but finishing 47th.
At that tournament, he was limping and seemed to struggle to crouch fully to line up putts.
Woods started on the 10th hole on Thursday and birdied it with a three-foot putt after a flawless chip.
He birdied the 14th as well with a 15-footer. But he found the rough and a bunker on 15 and could not get up and down, falling back to one-under.
On the 18th, a difficult hole, he found a greenside bunker with a poor iron shot and missed a 20-foot putt to fall back to even.
That started a poor stretch, and he made two more bogeys at 1 — a tee shot into the rough behind a tree was the culprit — and 2 — where he knocked a long putt from the fringe 10 feet past and missed the comebacker.
Woods struck back with a birdie on 3, making a long putt that got his big gallery going. But he gave that right back with a bad bunker shot on 4, rolling over and off the green and winding up with another bogey.
Of course, as the Masters showed, tournaments are not won in the first round. As if to illustrate this, John Daly was at even par through 16.