In his first round since withdrawing last week at the Honda Classic, Tiger Woods continued to struggle with his golf game in the early stages of the Cadillac Championship despite a late run that got his round back on track.
Woods, who pulled out on Sunday at the Honda because of back spasms, decided to play this week at Doral despite not hitting a golf shot more than 60 yards all week heading into the event and not seeing all the changes made to a golf course he has won four times on. Tiger made one bogey in his opening nine holes before a weather delay forced players to complete their opening round on Friday, but that was when things really started to go bad for the No. 1 player in the world.
Tiger made just one par on his final nine holes, adding four bogeys, a double-bogey and three birdies to finish at 4-over 76. Woods had a chance to get his round back on track after his double-bogey on the par-4 14th, making three consecutive birdies to get back to 3-over for the day, but his drive on the 18th found the water and he had to make a 12-foot bogey putt just to keep from making another big number in his opening round.
It was expected by most to be a struggle for Woods, who between injury and a shaky golf swing to start his season has really struggled to get anything going in 2014. Woods is coming off a season where he won five times on tour and took home Player of the Year, but it has been anything but easy for him so far this year.
Tiger averaged just 278.5 yards off the tee in his opening round, nearly 100 yards behind the average of Dustin Johnson, and Tiger hit just 35 percent of his fairways, meaning short and crooked is not going to be the winning recipe at a windy Doral.
The good news for Tiger is there is no cut at the World Golf Championships event, so if he is here simply to get some reps in and see how his back is feeling, he will have three full rounds of golf to do that.
Still, the strange year continues for Tiger, who is still searching for some semblance of a golf swing as Augusta National fast approaches in the rear view mirror.
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Shane Bacon is the editor of Devil Ball Golf and Busted Racquet on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or