Tacoma - Tiger Woods endured the worst US Open round of his career Thursday with a shocking 10-over 80 at Chambers Bay.
It marked Woods' third round in the 80s this season and he equalled the worst major championship round of his career, bringing back memories of his 10-over 81 at the storm-hit 2002 British Open in Muirfield.
"Not very happy, that's for sure. It was a tough day," said Woods, who will turn 40 in December. "I couldn't quite get it turned around today."
Woods' head-scratching opening round comes just two weeks after he shot a career-high 85 in the third round of The Memorial.
His previous worst score in a US Open was in 2006 at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York, where he shot two straight rounds of 76 and missed the cut.
"For some reason I just can't get the consistency that I'd like to have out there," said Woods, who finished with eight bogeys, one triple bogey and just one birdie.
The 10-over comes 15 years to the day that Woods won his first US Open title by 15 strokes at Pebble Beach.
Now the 14-time major winner will need a miracle to make the cut on Friday as he finished ahead of just two other players at Chambers Bay and one of those was his playing partner and reigning Players Championship winner Rickie Fowler who shot an 11-over 81.
Woods started his round Thursday with back-to-back bogeys on the front nine as his season-long slump is showing no signs of ending soon despite a series of swing changes he implemented in the hope it would straighten out his game.
On the back nine he had three straight bogeys beginning at No. 11, followed by a triple bogey on the par-four 14th.
He capped his round with another bogey at the par-five 18 after topping his approach so deep into one bunker that he had to go down a set of stairs to find it.
Woods was even outscored Thursday by 15-year-old amateur Cole Hammer who beat him by three strokes with a 77.
The only other player to finish worse than Woods and Fowler was Rich Berberian who had a 13-over 83.
"The bright side is at least I kicked Rickie's butt today," said Woods, trying to find some humour in the situation.
Woods said he fought through it as best he could but just came up empty.
"I couldn't grind out any harder than that. Unfortunately it was a high number today," he said.
Woods said undergoing knee surgery is one thing but there is nothing like trying to recover from his back surgery.
"Knee surgeries are pretty easy compared to a back surgery, the recovery time," he said.
"And for some reason, it's just a lot harder dealing with a nerve than a joint."- no giving up -
Despite his troubles, Woods isn't about to give up. Asked how he plans to turn this around, he said, "Keep working. Keep grinding, and keep working."
The quirky links-style Chambers Bay course is one of the longest in US Open history with an array of elevation changes that only adds to the mental and physical demands on the golfers.
The stretch from the fourth hole to the seventh is one of the most difficult par-four series the players are going to see all season.
So with the state of Woods' game at the moment he was lucky to get through that section in two-over par.
But just when he thought the worst might be over he reached the 602-yard, par-five eighth.
Woods' wayward tee shot sailed well right into the deep fescue grass, coming to rest on a steep bank and giving him an awkward downslope stance.
Woods paced the area and then took a time out to tie his shoes while he pondered the difficult lie.
He stood over the ball and took a full swing, making contact but also hitting something hard on the ground which caused him to fling his club about 30 feet backwards over his left shoulder.
Woods turned around picked up the club and checked the shaft to make sure it wasn't broken or warped.
But what he couldn't see was that his ball had travelled to the other side of the fairway where it had stopped in more rough.
Despite his troubles, Woods reached the green on eight with his third shot, giving him a birdie chance from 20 feet. But his first putt landed short and he tapped in for par.
"When I do it right, it's so easy. It just feels easy to control, easy to do it, easy to hit all my shots. I just need to do it more often," he said.
First round US Open scores:65 - Dustin Johnson (USA), Henrik Stenson (SWE)
66 - Patrick Reed (USA)
67 - Matt Kuchar (USA), Ben Martin (USA), Brian Campbell (USA)
- Cody Gribble (USA), Jason Dufner (USA), Jordan Spieth (USA), Joost
Luiten (NED), Francesco Molinari (ITA), Marc Warren (SCO), Jason Day
69 - Geoff Ogilvy (AUS), Miguel Angel Jimnez (ESP), Branden
Grace (RSA), Colin Montgomerie (SCO), Shane Lowry (IRL), Phil Mickelson
(USA), Kevin Chappell (USA), Brian Harman (USA), Brandt Snedeker (USA),
Charlie Beljan (USA), Tony Finau (USA), Ollie Schniederjans (USA)
- Michael Putnam (USA), Bubba Watson (USA), Chris Kirk (USA), Kevin Na
(USA), Nick Hardy (USA), Jamie Lovemark (USA), Daniel Summerhays (USA),
Angel Cabrera (ARG), Masahiro Kawamura (JPN), Hideki Matsuyama (JPN),
Sergio Garca (ESP), Alexander Levy (FRA), Sebastian Cappelen (DEN), Brad
Fritsch (CAN), Cameron Smith (AUS), Adam Scott (AUS)
71 - Marcus
Fraser (AUS), Andrs Romero (ARG), Cheng Tsung Pan (TPE), Thongchai
Jaidee (THA), Morgan Hoffmann (USA), Jim Furyk (USA), Russell Henley
(USA), Denny McCarthy (USA), Beau Hossler (USA), Kevin Kisner (USA)
- Troy Kelly (USA), Brooks Koepka (USA), Webb Simpson (USA), J.B.
Holmes (USA), Billy Horschel (USA), Jimmy Walker (USA), Zach Johnson
(USA), Mark Silvers (USA), Sam Saunders (USA), Bernd Wiesberger (AUT),
John Parry (ENG), Andy Sullivan (ENG), Rory McIlroy (NIR), Danny Willett
(ENG), Justin Rose (ENG), Paul Casey (ENG), Ian Poulter (ENG)), Jimmy
Gunn (SCO), Kurt Barnes (AUS), John Senden (AUS), David Hearn (CAN),
Camilo Villegas (COL), Hiroyuki Fujita (JPN), Shiv Kapur (IND), Martin
Kaymer (GER), Ernie Els (RSA), George Coetzee (RSA)
73 - Charl
Schwartzel (RSA), Marcel Siem (GER), Liang Wenchong (CHN), Lucas
Bjerregaard (DEN), Marc Leishman (AUS), Oliver Farr (WAL), Luke Donald
(ENG), Lee Westwood (ENG), Alexander Norn (SWE), An Byeong-Hun (KOR),
Jack Maguire (USA), Keegan Bradley (USA), Tom Hoge (USA), Lucas Glover
(USA), Bo Van Pelt (USA), Lee Janzen (USA), Bill Haas (USA), Hunter
Mahan (USA), Davis Riley (USA)
74 - Richard Lee (USA), Jason
Allred (USA), Tim O'Neal (USA), Gary Woodland (USA), Robert Streb (USA),
Lee McCoy (USA), Brandon Hagy (USA), Kevin Lucas (USA), Roberto Castro
(USA), D.A. Points (USA), Bryson DeChambeau (USA), Ryan Palmer (USA),
Jake Knapp (USA), Matt Mabrey (USA), Andy Pope (USA), Baek Seuk-Hyun
(KOR), Yang Gunn (KOR), Graeme McDowell (NIR), Jamie Donaldson (WAL),
Tommy Fleetwood (ENG), Victor Dubuisson (FRA), Stephan Jger (GER), Ryo
Ishikawa (JPN), Garth Mulroy (RSA), Thomas Aiken (RSA)
Anirban Lahiri (IND), Sam Horsfield (ENG), Steve Marino (USA), George
McNeill (USA), Cameron Tringale (USA), Ryan Moore (USA)
76 - Matthew NeSmith (USA), Brad Elder (USA), Erik Compton (USA), Charley Hoffman (USA), Jason Palmer (ENG), Bradley Neil (SCO)
- Darren Clarke (NIR), Tjaart Van der Walt (RSA), Retief Goosen (RSA),
Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), Cole Hammer (USA), Michael Davan (USA)
Kyle Jones (USA), Matt Every (USA), Blayne Barber (USA), Brendon Todd
(USA), Tyler Duncan (USA), Jared Becher (USA), Shunsuke Sonoda (JPN),
Stephen Gallacher (SCO), Danny Lee (NZL)
79 - Josh Persons (USA), Pat Wilson (USA)
80 - Alex Kim (USA), Billy Hurley III (USA), Tiger Woods (USA)
81 - Rickie Fowler (USA)
83 - Rich Berberian Jr. (USA)