Woods found the fairway with a 2-iron to commence his first US Open since 2015 but would walk off a few minutes later with a triple-bogey ‘7’.
His Shinnecock Hills start was the latest chapter in many bizarre Major Championship-commencing hole misadventures for Woods.
Next month Woods will return to Carnoustie for the 147th staging of the Open Championship where in 2007, the last time the Angus course hosted golf’s oldest Major, he sent his opening 2-iron tee shot left and out-of-bounds into the Barry Burn that runs the virtual length of the first hole.
Then-official Open Championship starter Ivor Robson had introduced Woods in his famed usual manner: “Ladies and gentleman. Next of the tee from the United States of America – Tiger Woods.”
Robson was clearly not sure what to do when Woods had to reload.
It might be of some small comfort to Woods that the Barrie Burn next month is being classed as a ‘lateral hazard’.
At the 2001 Masters, Woods clinched the consecutive Grand Slam despite missing Augusta’s first fairway all four rounds.
Two months later in the 2001 US Open at Southern Hills and also the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which he didn’t win, again Woods missed the first fairway all four rounds.
In 2003, Woods had dozens looking for his opening tee shot down the first at Royal St. George’s.
An unknown golf ball was found by those helping in the search for Woods’ Nike logoed ball but after five minutes Woods had to declare the ball lost and return to the tee and eventually commence with a triple-bogey ‘7’ as he did today at Shinnecock.
It turned out to be the first non-located ball in Woods then seven-year pro career.
Woods remarked at the time: “It was a little disconcerting. The three caddies were all telling us where the ball was but unfortunately we couldn’t find it.”
In the 2009 US Open at Bethpage Park, and on New York’s Long Island where this week’s US Open is being staged, Woods’ hand flew off the club as the defending champion made contact with his first drive to send the ball spiralling well to the left.
It was so far off the fairway, Woods waited on the tee for some 30 seconds before confirmation the ball had been found.
Woods had done the same on the very first hole a year earlier at Torrey Pines.
In the 2015 Open at St. Andrews, Woods chunked his opening tee shot and then proceeded to put his second shot into the Swilcan Burn on route to a round of 76.
At this year’s Masters, and his first official tee shot at Augusta National in nearly 1,000 days and Woods sent his 3-wood shot well left into the crowd. But then Woods recovered well to manage to squeeze out a par.