FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Tiger Woods‘ return to competition after winning the Masters last month included a rare double bogey on his opening hole of a major championship as well as his first eagle at Bethpage Black while shooting a 72 at the PGA Championship on Thursday.
Woods, 43, is nine strokes back of defending champion Brooks Koepka, who opened with a tournament-record-tying 63 — a course record — after making seven birdies without any bogeys.
Making his first start since the Masters and with little preparation on site, Woods made two double bogeys in his first eight holes before making four consecutive 3s on the front side to get under par.
That momentum, however, was halted after a couple of poor wedge shots and three three-putt greens.
The double-bogey 6 at the difficult 502-yard par-4 10th for Woods was just his fourth score of double or worse in 76 opening rounds of a major championship as a pro. It came after missing the fairway with his opening tee shot by only a yard.
He also three-putted the 17th green after his tee shot plugged in a bunker. Woods then made birdies at the first and second holes before rolling in a 30-footer for eagle at the fourth — one of just two par-5s on the course. But he followed with a three-putt bogey from 35 feet at the fifth.
Woods was tied for 58th after nine holes and moved as high as a tie for fifth after the eagle. He hit 10 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens but needed 32 putts.
Woods was playing his first competitive round in 32 days, since the final round of the Masters. He elected to skip the Wells Fargo Championship two weeks ago, and he made a visit to Bethpage on May 8.
After arriving Sunday night, Woods played just nine holes of practice Monday, electing to hit balls and work on his short game Tuesday. A planned nine-hole practice round was scrapped Wednesday, and Woods never came to the course, electing to rest.