Tiger Woods’ website rips into golf star and agrees with Matt Fitzpatrick’s Open complaint

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Tiger Woods’ own website has slammed the golf legend’s performance on day one of The Open Championship, after a frustrating – and long – day at St Andrews. Woods made a fairytale return to his ‘favourite course in the world’ on Thursday, 17 months after suffering severe injuries in a car accident.

The American has won two of his free Claret Jugs at the Home of Golf, but failed to replicate the heroics he showed in 2000 and 2005, in his opening round on Thursday. The 46-year-old shot a disappointing six-over-par 78, with Woods clearly still feeling the effects of the injuries he suffered in February 2021.

Giving an honest account of the 82-time PGA Tour winner’s opening round as anyone was his own personal website, tigerwoods.com. The site provided a damning post-round report of his Thursday struggles, describing Woods’ opening 18 holes on the Old Course as ‘barely respectable’.

Assessing the 15-time major winner’s day, American golf journalist Dan Rapaport wrote for Woods’ site: “It started promisingly enough, with Woods flushing a long iron into the centre of the expansive first fairway, only for his ball to rest in a fresh, sandy divot.

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“Not five minutes later, a proper buzzkill: Woods’ approach one-hopped into the burn guarding the front of the green, he blocked a four-footer for bogey, and this never really happened at all. Woods played his first seven holes in six over par to eject himself from relevance in his 22nd Open Championship start and needed to play his final 10 holes in one-under par to salvage a barely respectable six-over 78.”

Another damning aspect of Woods’ difficult Thursday was the slow speed of play, with the American, US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and Max Homa completing their 18 holes in a staggering six hours and nine minutes. Discussing the play time, the report on his website continued: “The threesome of Woods, Max Homa and Matt Fitzpatrick needed six hours and nine minutes to finish their rounds, and it had nothing to do with any of the three.

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“The Old Course’s firm conditions, criss-cross routing and adjacent-holes layout turned Thursday into a slog for virtually the entire field. It was a struggle for the healthy 26-year-olds; for a 46-year-old with a fused back and significant hardware holding his right leg together, being on your feet for that long is a worst-case scenario.”

These thoughts were echoed by playing partner Fitzpatrick, who also criticised the long-winded playing time of the first round. He said: “It’s just a joke, isn’t it? Like six hours, 10 [minutes]. This just shouldn’t be happening ever in golf,” he said. “It’s the way the golf course is set up. It’s how firm it is. The way the golf course is designed. You’re crossing over a lot, and to get better angles and better lines, you’ve got to hit across all the fairways. There’s nothing you can do unfortunately about it. It’s just sad more than anything. It’s just ridiculous.”

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