Tiger Woods hits a shot off the 10th fairway during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament, Thursday, May 16, 2019, at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
The Associated Press
Tiger Woods is back at Bethpage Black after a late decision to skip the final round of practice at the PGA Championship.
Woods had planned to play the front nine early Wednesday morning, but never showed up at the course. That led to speculation his surgically-repaired back was acting up. His manager says all was fine.
Coming off his emotional win at the Masters, Woods is in the traditional group of current major champions. He is with U.S. Open and PGA champion Brooks Koepka and British Open champion Francesco Molinari.
The forecast was good. The course was soft and wet.
The scores were predictable. With a two-tee start, players starting on the back nine had a far more difficult start. Thomas Pieters opened with a triple bogey at No. 10. Kiradech Aphibarnrat had back-to-back double bogeys.
The only early drama was J.J. Spaun. He was in the first group and walked onto the tee at No. 1 with a minute to spare, avoiding a two-shot penalty. It didn’t seem to bother him. He was 2 under through four holes.