Tiger fires 69 after early struggles, appears to be like to Open

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Do not anticipate to see Tiger Woods once more till The Open subsequent month in Northern Eire.

The 2019 Masters champion shot his greatest closing spherical on the U.S. Open in 10 years on Sunday — regardless of a horrific begin to the spherical — to maneuver into the highest 20 and take a little bit of satisfaction out of what had principally been a disappointing week.

Woods’ 2-under-par 69 got here after he bogeyed 4 of his first six holes. He performed the ultimate 12 holes in 6 underneath par. He beforehand broke 70 within the closing spherical of a U.S. Open in 2009 at Bethpage Black.

Now he is taking a look at skipping 4 weeks of event golf main as much as The Open at Royal Portrush, a plan that did not work so effectively heading into the PGA Championship however one that’s doubtless a part of a brand new actuality for the 15-time main champion.

Citing “household time” as his subsequent aim, Woods was greeted by his youngsters, Samantha and Charlie, who joined him at Pebble Seaside on Sunday and had been ready behind the 18th inexperienced.

When requested if he would play once more earlier than Portrush, Woods stated, “I will play at house, yeah.”

The one reasonable vacation spot for Woods would have been the 3M Open in Minneapolis, which begins July four. That was at all times sketchy, and it seems extra so now. Woods is taking a household trip that features his children and his mom, and his doubtless prep for The Open will likely be within the 10 days to 2 weeks at house in South Florida.

“It is simply attempting to wind down from the championship in addition to [get in the gym] and getting again into it,” Woods stated. “And I do know that Florida won’t be the identical temperature as Northern Eire. I am not going to be training with any sweaters at house, however it is going to be good to get to Portrush and get with it once more.”

Woods has by no means performed Royal Portrush, which is internet hosting The Open for simply the second time and first since 1951. Woods stated he is by no means performed farther north in Northern Eire than Royal County Down.

Years in the past, Woods would usually make a pre-Open journey to play the hyperlinks programs of Eire as a option to prepare. That has modified with a household. So has the truth that his surgically repaired again provides solely so many alternatives.

Woods gave the impression to be stiff and out of kinds as he performed the simplest stretch on the course Sunday, bogeying the primary and second holes, lacking the inexperienced to make one other bogey on the par-Three fifth, then enjoying the par-5 sixth horrifically, developing in need of the inexperienced in Three, then chipping poorly and settling for bogey.

However he turned it round rapidly, with birdies on the seventh and eighth — the latter his first birdie on the scenic seaside gap in 12 U.S. Open rounds at Pebble Seaside.

“I want I might have recognized as a result of I might have turned it round just a little sooner than that,” Woods stated after ending at 2 underneath for the event. “Once more, acquired off to a different crappy begin and was capable of combat it off. Turned again round and get it underneath par for the week, which is generally factor, however this week the fellows are positively taking it to [the course].”

This was Woods’ ninth event of the 12 months. Except for his win on the Masters, he has not completed nearer than eight strokes to the winner in seven stroke-play occasions.

“I’ll take just a little little bit of time without work and revel in some household time,” he stated.

Together with The Open, Woods faces a heavy stretch to conclude the PGA Tour season. If he elects to play the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee, the week following The Open, he’s dealing with 5 tournaments in six weeks, together with the three FedEx Cup playoff occasions.

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