Tiger will play at The Open in July

Tiger will play at The Open in July

The crowds, at times, were awesome.

Woods' big-name playing partner, Phil Mickelson, wasn't even average.

Woods finished with an even par 72 during today's first round at Sawgrass.

"There's trouble on every shot and when you're a little off you get penalised pretty severely here", Woods said. "There towards the back nine, it started getting a little sparse".

"I just didn't quite hit a couple of them hard enough", Woods said. "I think it's really fun". Mickelson and Woods were simply folded into the fabric of the rest of the tournament. The massive crowd thinned out on the back nine before picking back up at 16, 17 and 18 - the most raucous holes at the Stadium Course.

The two-time victor at TPC drained it.

"The way I was feeling today, I should have shot something in the 60s", Woods said after the round.

But he needed a strong recovery to hit bogey on the 18th and save his first round from being over par. Woods wasn't a whole lot better. "It was playing a little bit on the softer side, and with this heat ... the ball's flying forever".

The one time Woods did may have saved his round.

Woods battled afternoon winds during the first round at Florida's famed TPC Sawgrass as he plummeted to two over on the front nine, before steadying the ship with an eagle at the par-5 ninth.

"Boy, it was nice to turn the round completely around there", he said, before assessing the gallery.

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The much-anticipated Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson showdown at the 2018 Players Championship did not live up to its billing. That included six birdies in a row from Nos. 11 and 12. But after a par 3 at No. 13 Mickelson played one of the worst stretches of golf during his Hall of Fame career.

He'd go on to bogey the hole, however, after he came out of his approach and found a grass bunker short and right of the green.

"I think it is going to be an incredible event and it will surprise everybody". "So I tried to kind of roll out and go real slow".

"I was looking forward to [playing with them] and definitely enjoy it".

"I recall making just one birdie on the weekend and finished just three or four out the play-off".

"I'm 15 under through two days here, which is a lot lower than I ever expected it to be", Simpson said.

"He must have a meeting after this", one fan said at the famed 17th hole.

The man with her countered, "Yeah, at a used auto lot". "His chances of winning a Major are maybe better than winning a regular event".

"The US Open is coming up next so players" schedules are not yet decided.

That year, Woods lost by a shot to Hal Sutton. The trio will tee off for the second round at 8:27 a.m. Friday morning.

Over a decade later, the double Open Champion - now in his 20 year using Wilson Staff clubs on the global stage - demonstrated how he still has what it takes to conquer those demanding playoff holes just two months shy of the 147 Open Championship.

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