Tiger Woods plays 'beat the clock' in shaky opening round at Oak Hill

Rob Carr

Tiger Woods says he missed a short putt for birdie on his 11th hole because officials put his group on the clock.

Tiger Woods, beginning his quest for his 15th major title on the 10th hole at Oak Hill, got off to a strong opening round of the PGA Championship Thursday, but his timing was clearly off after he made the turn.

Going out in 2-under, Woods’ incoming nine hit a speed bump when he missed about a three-foot putt for birdie on the second hole. The world No. 1 blamed his uncharacteristic wayward stroke on being rushed by officials to get back in position on the course.

"I stuffed it at No. 2," Woods told reporters after finishing his round at 1-over 71. "I probably should have taken a little longer, but we were on the clock."

Woods’ round took a nosedive after the rushed putt and he ended his day with a double-bogey six on his last hole. Playing with Keegan Bradley and Davis Love III, Tiger said the group was put on the clock as soon as they hit the first hole (his 10th).

"So we had to get going and try to close the gap," said Woods, whose party had to pick up the pace to avoid incurring slow-play penalties. "It would have been nice to take a little bit longer on that putt. It was a pretty tricky little putt."

Woods, who attracts the largest galleries in golf, said he has grown used to the dreaded stopwatch.

"We have to be conscious of it, but we play just about every week like that, so that's nothing unusual," he said. "We have a lot of people following us and a lot of cameras going off and movement inside the galleries. We have a tendency of having that happen and we're accustomed to it. It happens."

Woods has ground to make up on Friday, with Jim Furyk the early clubhouse leader at 5-under.

More golf from SB Nation:

Predictions for Tiger and Phil at the season's final major

A course guide to historic Oak Hill

After Tiger and Phil, who's next in USA Golf? | Phil wants Tiger on Sunday

Crazed autograph seekers scare away Tiger

Tiger Woods and an impossible standard

• GIFS Casual Phil and his backpack full of Claret Jug | The best Tiger birdie celebration

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