a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Tiger Woods plays his second shot on the 14th hole during the first round of The PLAYERS Championship on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. **FOR USE WITH THIS STORY ONLY**© Richard Heathcote/Getty Pictures North America/TNS
Tiger Woods performs his second shot on the 14th gap throughout the first spherical of The PLAYERS Championship on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Ponte Vedra Seashore, Fla. **FOR USE WITH THIS STORY ONLY**

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Standing off the facet of the 18th inexperienced Thursday night at TPC Sawgrass, Tiger Woods grabbed his head together with his proper hand and squeezed the olive inexperienced cap bearing the initials “TW.”

Woods turned a worldwide model and the best golfer of his era by making putts when he wanted them.

Woods didn’t essentially want the 4-footer for par that slid by on the ultimate gap of his opening spherical of The Gamers Championship. Primarily based on his response whereas he waited for Webb Simpson to complete on 18, Woods certain would have favored to have made it.

As an alternative of ending his day with a clutch up-and-down and a few momentum, Woods must sleep on a closing bogey for a 2-under par 70.

“I felt like I might have gotten one thing within the 60s at the moment,” he stated.

As an alternative, Woods failed to completely capitalize on 5 back-nine birdies and turned in a scorecard that includes a bit of little bit of every little thing.

After posting a secular, even-par 36 on entrance 9, Woods managed only one par over his ultimate 9 holes and made three bogeys, courtesy of three errors he should clear up if he hopes to contend on the weekend.

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“Normally if I had one par, it is normally capturing 30 or 29, not what I did at the moment,” Woods quipped.

As an alternative, Woods sits 5 photographs behind co-leaders Tommy Fleetwood and Keegan Bradley heading into the second spherical.

When Woods, the 2001 and 2013 winner at TPC, tees off at 8:32 a.m. Friday, he’ll look to benefit from extra favorable scoring situations.

Following a comparatively calm morning, the winds had been whipping Thursday afternoon, magnifying the problem of designer Pete Dye’s structure – even enjoying at a mere 7,088 yards.

“Hopefully we will catch it on the calm facet and a few smoother greens and put up a low quantity,” Woods stated, “after which see if the blokes need to face what we needed to face within the afternoon with the wind transferring fairly good.”

Woods probably might want to go a low Friday to present himself an opportunity to change into the primary golfer to win thrice at TPC Sawgrass. But, he nonetheless took away some encouraging indicators from Thursday’s opening spherical.

After withdrawing final week from the Arnold Palmer Invitational on account of a neck pressure, Woods stated he performed ache free. A lot of the day, the 43-year-old swung with with velocity and confidence, however a handful of mishits proved pricey.

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Woods snap hook off the tee traveled 189 yards on the 532-yard par-5 second gap, forcing him to play it as a three-shot gap and in the end accept a par. Later, he blocked his tee shot on the daunting par-4 14th gap into the appropriate tough. His strategy shot got here up brief, and he ultimately would miss an 8-foot par putt.

Woods’ largest miscalculation got here on the par-5 11th gap.

Woods confronted a 251-yard strategy shot to present himself a possibility for eagle, however his 3-wood bought caught up within the meaty, intermediate tough, main a 240-yard effort that discovered the water hazard. Woods made a bogey.

He ended the day even-par on the 4 par-5s, the holes Woods typically dominates when he wins.

On the brighter facet, Woods’ placing – his bugaboo early within the season – was a lot improved previous to his pricey 18th-hole miss. Arguably the sport’s finest putter of all time, Woods had 14 three-putts throughout his first three begins this season. On Thursday, he had none, made 107 ft of putts and completed the day 16th in stroke gained placing within the 144-player subject.

“I felt like I rolled it at the moment,” he stated. “I felt like I used to be in a position to stand up there, and I felt comfy. I used to be in a position to rip it, and I felt fairly good.”

Woods additionally saved his feelings in examine.

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As anticipated, the day’s largest galleries adopted Woods’ each transfer. Some followers, together with 16-year-old Antonio Pontigo of Jacksonville, had been dressed head to toe in tiger outfits ordered on Amazon.

When Woods reached the tee field for the par-3 17th gap island inexperienced, the stadium seating, the luxurious bins and hillsides surrounding the realm had been packed.

The thrill lastly subsided as Woods stood over his golf ball and confronted the 121-yard shot over water. However earlier than Woods might get settled, a fan bellowed, “Tiger!!”

Boos quickly rained down as Woods backed off the shot. As soon as he was regained his focus, Woods hit his shot to inside 15 ft. He then made the putt, main the gang to erupt.

But Woods’ day would finish with a collective groan from the gallery surrounding the 18th gap, when he missed his par putt. The frustration of Woods and his followers had been laborious to cover.

With 54 holes to go, although, Woods has lots to time to make up floor.

“He is affected person,” Golf Channel analyst Frank Nobilo. “He is aware of that the rating will truly come again to him. This event goes to be all concerning the weekend.”

Go to The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com

Associated slideshow: Current PGA Tour winners (Supplied by photograph providers)

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