Tiger Woods is seven shots off the first-round lead after playing his final five holes in 4-over par at the U.S. PGA Tour’s AT&T National, the tournament he hosted the previous three years.
India’s Arjun Atwal, Australia’s Jason Day and Americans Nick Watney and Joe Ogilvie are tied for the lead after opening with rounds of 4-under 66 today at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.
Woods, winless in five PGA Tour events this year since returning to golf after an almost five-month hiatus, was 1-under through 13 holes before stumbling at the finish and ending the day at 3-over 73.
“‘I hit it good all day and just let my round get away from me,” Woods, the tournament’s defending champion, said in a televised interview.
The No. 1 golfer in the Official World Rankings, Woods bogeyed the 218-yard, par-3 14th hole and dropped another shot at the par-5 16th. He double-bogeyed the par-3 17th after his tee shot rolled back off the green and into a pond.
Woods missed a chance to get a stroke back when he lipped out a birdie putt from inside six feet at the 18th hole. After a birdie on Aronimink’s opening hole, Woods made only one more during the first round.
“I putted awful,” Woods said. “My speed was good, but I couldn’t get anything to go in.”
Woods and his foundation hosted the AT&T National from 2007-09 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.
AT&T Inc., the largest U.S. phone company, ended its endorsement agreement with Woods on Dec. 31 after details about his admitted marital infidelity emerged. Woods no longer carries the AT&T logo on his bag or serves as the event’s official host, though it still benefits his foundation.
Woods, No. 5 Jim Furyk and No. 14 Robert Allenby are the only players in the top 20 of the world rankings in the field for this week’s tournament. The winner receives $1.1 million.
Sweden’s Carl Pettersson and Americans John Mallinger, Brian Gay, Brett Quigley, Ryan Moore and Michael Letzig are one shot off the lead at 3-under par.