Tiger Woods struggles in season debut at 2014 Farmers Insurance Open

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

It's just 18 holes, but the No. 1 player in the world had a sloppy start to the season on Thursday in San Diego.

Tiger Woods started his 2014 season, one billed as the most important of his career, with a shaky and underwhelming first round Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open. Woods had not played at a competitive tourney since his own limited-field World Challenge event in early December, and he did not look sharp at a Torrey Pines South Course that he's owned his entire career.

Woods was a bit erratic off the tee, not crisp with his irons, and sloppy around the greens with his wedges.

The day started in promising enough fashion, when Tiger dropped a dart on top of the pin at the second hole of the South Course. It was his first birdie of the new season, and you thought we'd be off and running at a venue where he's so comfortable and often races out to the lead before the weekend. But he would scuffle through the remainder of his outward nine.

Tiger gave a shot back on No. 5, when he made a poor approach attempt, leaving it in the front greenside bunker. But he was even worse with the sand wedge in hand, barely getting it out of the bunker and dribbling the ball just onto the green, where he could not convert a 15-foot par-saving putt. Woods was promptly back to even, but he still had two good birdie chances ahead of him at the front 9 par-5s.

Tiger's most reliable route to victory, particularly at Torrey, is by dominating the par-5s. His birdie and eagle percentages on the par-5s, as Emily Kay outlined this week, are astonishing. But Woods made two disappointing pars to stay at even. The first came at No. 6, and the second came at No. 9, following a wayward tee shot that prompted the patented Tiger follow-through of disgust:

Some of the passes at the ball off the tee had Brandel Chamblee state on Golf Channel's postgame show that Woods was swinging like a "55-year-old man."

"[Woods] had the swing of a 55-year-old man" -Brandel Chamblee

The shaky form continued on the back side at Torrey South, when Woods gave another shot away at the par-3 11th. His tee shot was short and right from the start, as Tiger got up and under it and once again left it in a greenside bunker. The sand wedge was again weak and he failed to get the ball up a tier to the hole location and could not save par. The seven-time Farmers Insurance Open winner also had trouble judging the speed of the greens on the front side, but he made two solid putts, one to save at No. 12 (causing Tiger to actually smile) and then another to get back to even with a lengthy birdie at No. 14 (via PGATour):

But again Tiger was not sharp on the par-5s and squandered those opportunities, particularly at No. 18 where he may have hit his worst shot of the day on his approach into the green. With wedge in hand, Tiger got stuck with the swing and left his ball way short of the pin in the middle of the putting surface. The shot came from a distance where he should be all over the flag. That poor wedge led to another disappointing par and another disgusted reaction.

Of course, all is not lost for Woods, who will now get to feast on the much shorter and easier North Course at Torrey. He'll start Friday eight shots back of Stewart Cink, but there will be multiple chances for eagles and birdies on the gettable North layout. Only one player in the top 10, Pat Perez, played the tougher South Course on Thursday. Tiger will have his chances to make his run to that top 10 and be in position before the weekend arrives in La Jolla.

Here's where the full field stands after 18 holes (North/South course designation in parentheses):

Place Player Score
1 Stewart Cink (NC) -8
2 Gary Woodland (NC) -7
T3 Jason Day (NC) -6
T3 Tyrone Van Aswegen (NC) -6
T3 Marc Leishman (NC) -6
T3 Jim Herman (NC) -6
T7 Pat Perez (SC) -5
T7 D.A. Points (NC) -5
T7 Sang-Moon Bae (NC) -5
T10 David Lynn (NC) -4
T10 Steven Bowditch (NC) -4
T10 Justin Thomas (NC) -4
T10 Trevor Immelman (NC) -4
T10 Jhonattan Vegas (NC) -4
T10 Harrison Frazar (NC) -4
T10 Seung-Yul Noh (NC) -4
T17 Charley Hoffman (SC) -3
T17 Nicolas Colsaerts (NC) -3
T17 Erik Compton (NC) -3
T17 Keegan Bradley (NC) -3
T17 Phil Mickelson (NC) -3
T17 Brendon Todd (NC) -3
T17 Bobby Gates (NC) -3
T17 John Merrick (NC) -3
T17 Martin Laird (NC) -3
T17 Brad Fritsch (NC) -3
T17 Kevin Tway (SC) -3
T17 Michael Putnam (NC) -3
T29 Mark Calcavecchia (NC) -2
T29 Graham DeLaet (NC) -2
T29 Tim Herron (NC) -2
T29 Charles Howell III (NC) -2
T29 Jonathan Byrd (NC) -2
T29 Bubba Watson (NC) -2
T29 Hudson Swafford (NC) -2
T29 Michael Kim (NC) -2
T29 Greg Owen (NC) -2
T29 Brian Stuard (SC) -2
T29 Billy Horschel (SC) -2
T29 Scott Brown (NC) -2
T29 Nick Watney (NC) -2
T29 Davis Love III (NC) -2
T29 Hideto Tanihara (NC) -2
T29 Tim Wilkinson (NC) -2
T29 Troy Merritt (NC) -2
T46 Cameron Tringale (SC) -1
T46 Justin Hicks (SC) -1
T46 Robert Garrigus (NC) -1
T46 Aaron Baddeley (NC) -1
T46 Shawn Stefani (NC) -1
T46 Will Claxton (NC) -1
T46 Kevin Foley (NC) -1
T46 Chris Williams (NC) -1
T46 James Driscoll (SC) -1
T46 Martin Flores (SC) -1
T46 Spencer Levin (NC) -1
T46 Matt Bettencourt (NC) -1
T46 Roberto Castro (NC) -1
T46 Jordan Spieth (SC) -1
T46 J.B. Holmes (SC) -1
T46 Russell Knox (SC) -1
T46 Peter Malnati (NC) -1
T63 Richard H. Lee (NC) E
T63 Heath Slocum (NC) E
T63 Scott Stallings (SC) E
T63 Tommy Gainey (NC) E
T63 Hunter Mahan (NC) E
T63 Jonas Blixt (NC) E
T63 Andres Romero (SC) E
T63 Wes Roach (NC) E
T63 Jamie Lovemark (SC) E
T63 Andrew Svoboda (NC) E
T63 Bronson La'Cassie (NC) E
T63 Camilo Villegas (SC) E
T63 Billy Mayfair (NC) E
T63 Victor Dubuisson (NC) E
T63 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (NC) E
T63 Morgan Hoffmann (SC) E
T63 David Lingmerth (SC) E
T63 Hideki Matsuyama (NC) E
T63 Charlie Wi (NC) E
T63 David Hearn (NC) E
T63 Tiger Woods (SC) E
T63 Will MacKenzie (SC) E
T63 Nicholas Thompson (SC) E
T63 Ryo Ishikawa (SC) E
T63 Alex Aragon (NC) E
T88 Lee Westwood (SC) 1
T88 John Rollins (NC) 1
T88 Paul Goydos (SC) 1
T88 Kevin Chappell (SC) 1
T88 Chesson Hadley (SC) 1
T88 Scott Gardiner (NC) 1
T88 Tag Ridings (SC) 1
T88 D.H. Lee (SC) 1
T88 Vijay Singh (NC) 1
T88 Robert Streb (SC) 1
T88 Max Homa (NC) 1
T99 Rory Sabbatini (SC) 2
T99 Bill Haas (SC) 2
T99 Stuart Appleby (SC) 2
T99 K.J. Choi (SC) 2
T99 Geoff Ogilvy (SC) 2
T99 Jim Renner (NC) 2
T99 Chris Riley (SC) 2
T99 Michael Block (SC) 2
T99 Mark Anderson (NC) 2
T99 Lee Williams (NC) 2
T99 Fabian Gomez (SC) 2
T99 Daniel Chopra (NC) 2
T99 Rocco Mediate (SC) 2
T99 Justin Leonard (SC) 2
T99 Jimmy Walker (SC) 2
T99 Lucas Glover (SC) 2
T99 Ben Martin (SC) 2
T116 Troy Matteson (SC) 3
T116 Blake Adams (SC) 3
T116 Matt Jones (SC) 3
T116 Robert Allenby (SC) 3
T116 Johnson Wagner (SC) 3
T116 Miguel Angel Carballo (NC) 3
T116 Dicky Pride (SC) 3
T116 Ian Poulter (SC) 3
T116 Andrew Loupe (SC) 3
T116 Brice Garnett (NC) 3
T126 Brendon de Jonge (SC) 4
T126 Luke Guthrie (SC) 4
T126 Y.E. Yang (SC) 4
T126 John Peterson (SC) 4
T126 Chris Smith (SC) 4
T126 Joe Durant (SC) 4
T126 Brendan Steele (SC) 4
T126 John Huh (SC) 4
T126 Danny Lee (SC) 4
T126 Riley Wheeldon (NC) 4
T136 Bryce Molder (SC) 5
T136 Josh Teater (SC) 5
T136 Derek Ernst (NC) 5
T136 Brandt Snedeker (NC) 5
T136 Mike Weir (SC) 5
T136 Ben Crane (SC) 5
T136 Edward Loar (SC) 5
T136 Will Strickler (SC) 5
T136 Rickie Fowler (SC) 5
T136 J.J. Henry (SC) 5
T146 Kyle Stanley (SC) 6
T146 Ben Curtis (SC) 6
T146 Will Wilcox (SC) 6
T146 Chad Collins (SC) 6
T150 Russell Henley (SC) 7
T150 Alex Prugh (SC) 7
T152 James Hahn (SC) 8
T152 Kevin Kisner (SC) 8
T152 Charlie Beljan (SC) 8
T155 Chad Campbell (SC) 9
T155 Freddie Jacobson (SC) 9

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