Worries about the chilly climate’s impact on Tiger Woods’ back and his absence of competitive reps were taken care of by a first-round 68 in the PGA Championship.

It was Woods’ least opening round in a significant since 2012.

Woods wore a sweater throughout the day, yet the cool, damp conditions at TPC Harding Park didn’t affect his capacity to swing freely. He led the field in driving separation when he walked off the course, averaging 313.5 yards off the tee on the two estimated openings.

He hit simply a large portion of his fairways Thursday, missing a few remaining subsequent to hitting tee shots off the toe. His iron play was solid when he was in the short grass, particularly on his back nine.

“The most part of the day, I missed the ball on the correct sides,” Woods said. “This golf course, you have to hit the ball in the fairway. You get a ball in the rough, into the grain, there’s no chance you can get the ball to the green. I felt like I did a decent job of doing that.”

Woods was even standard after 12 holes, however then moved off three birdies in a four-hole stretch.

It began the standard 5 fourth, where he missed the fairway left and could just propel his second shot 150 yards. He hit his 160-yard way to deal with 4 feet, however. On the next hole, he hit only his fourth fairway of the round and hit his 148-yard way to deal with 14 feet.

He hit an iron off the tee on the short seventh before staying his 131-yard way to deal with 13 feet. He came up short the following hole out of a greenside bunker before hitting a 319-yard tee shot on 9 and getting done with a standard.

Woods, who jump started on No. 10 with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, got looking great so far with birdies on two of his initial four holes. He hit a high failure to 8 feet on the standard 5 tenth, at that point holed a 33-footer for birdie on 13.

He came up short the following opening, seeming bewildered when his 9-foot standard putt lipped out after he began strolling after it.

Woods completed his front nine with four sequential standards, interspersing his play on that side with a 21-foot standard putt on 18.

“The big par putts … keep momentum of the round going, and that was a big putt for me to make after making a mistake on my tee shot, missing it left,” Woods said.

Woods picked up +1.4 strokes on the greens Thursday in the wake of averaging – 0.84 per round this season. Changing to a more extended putter, which puts less strain on his back, paid immediate dividends.

He fell back to try and standard after an bogey at 2. Another fairway missed left constrained him to depend on his short game, however he missed a 7-footer for standard. He saved his best for the finish of the round, however. Woods hit five of his last six greens and his last four fairways.

Woods, who was three strokes behind leader Jason Day when he walked off the green, is planned to jump start at 4:58 p.m. Eastern on Friday.

Topics #PGA Championship #Tiger Woods