Tiger Woods struggles in US PGA at Atlanta Athletic Club
Last updated on .From the section Golf
Tiger Woods made a disastrous start to the 93rd US PGA Championship with a first-round 77 to end seven over on day one at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
The four-time champion, playing in his first major since the Masters following injury, tied for the early lead after three birdies in his first five holes.
But he imploded after finding water at the short 15th, his sixth, and made three double bogeys and five bogeys.
In all, the erratic Woods, 35, caught the water twice and found 12 bunkers.
It was the 14-time major champion's worst round at a PGA Championship, or any US major, and matched the second-worst of his career at any major - his worst was the 10-over 81 at the 2002 Open.
"I'm not down, I'm really angry," he said, explaining that over the opening stretch he had focused on swing thoughts, but had then abandoned that to "let it go" and could not regroup.
"My motor pattern is getting there and I started fighting it and I couldn't get it back. I can't just go out there and play and let it go and just play by feel and see the shot, hit the shot, feel it and I'm not at that point yet.
"It's frustrating, because my shots don't shape like they used to. It's hard for me right now to aim closer to flags or closer to where I want the ball to end up. I thought I was beyond that."
Woods has only missed the cut twice at major tournaments, the 2009 Open and 2006 US Open, but he is already in danger of missing out on the top 70 players and those tied for 70th who will play over the weekend in Georgia.
Starting from the 10th, Woods began brightly and picked up shots at his first, third and fifth holes to tie for the early lead.
But he double-bogeyed the 253-yard par-three 15th after finding water off the tee and dropped another shot on the par-four 16th.
Another double bogey at the 18th took him out in 37 and his slump worsened after the turn as he leaked further bogeys on the first, second and fourth. He stopped the rot with a birdie at the fifth but a double bogey via more water at the sixth took him to six over par and he made a final bogey on his 18th.
Woods, who tied for 37th in the WGC event last week in his first tournament back since knee and Achilles problems, is playing in his first major since parting company with long-time caddie Steve Williams.
The former world number one last won the US PGA in 2007 and won his last major title at the 2008 US Open.
The American, currently 30th in the rankings, has not won at any level since the 2009 Australian Masters.