Then, trouble at the 253-yard 15th, the over-the-top par 3 that is both long and protected by water.
Woods went with an iron but turned away as soon he hit the tee shot, the ball plopping into the pond that runs along the right side of the hole. He wound up making the first of his double bogeys.
At the 16th, a wild drive led to more problems. Woods landed in a fairway bunker to the right, knocked his approach into the gallery on the left, flopped it into another bunker and settled for a bogey.
Woods took another double bogey at the brutal 18th after plugging his tee shot in, yes, another bunker. He could only gouge it out, found more sand with his third shot and failed to get up-and-down from there.
His momentum totally stymied by a 2-over 37 at the turn, Woods staggered toward the finish. He started the front side with three more bogeys in the first four holes, then dunked another ball in the water at the sixth to set up his third double bogey on an increasingly sweltering day in the Deep South.
Temperatures were expected to be in the low 90s, with the humidity making it feel more like the 100s.
At least Woods was faring better than Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa, thought to be a contender coming off a strong showing at Firestone last week. The 19-year-old should’ve brought his swimsuit, putting six balls in the water and finishing with an 85 _ pretty much assured of missing the cut before much of the field even got on the course.
Dustin Johnson was one of those teeing off in the afternoon, looking to make up for a gaffe on the 72nd hole that cost him a chance to win last year’s PGA.
Johnson actually went to the final hole at Whistling Straits with a one-stroke lead and still appeared headed to a three-way playoff after making bogey. But PGA of America officials ruled that he grounded his club in a ragged patch of dirt that was actually a bunker after driving far right of the fairway.
He had to assess himself a two-stroke penalty, which left Martin Kaymer to beat Bubba Watson for the Wanamaker Trophy.
Everyone raved about the condition of the 7,467-yard course in the sprawling suburbs northeast of Atlanta, which was the home club of Bobby Jones and had hosted three previous majors.
But a baffling mishap the evening before _ mowers gone wild? _ left two ugly patches in the 14th and 17th greens.
Apparently, a quick rise in the humidity caused the brushes on two movers to stick in the grass, ripping the impeccable greens. Head groundskeeper Ken Mangum had to bring in sod for a quick patch job and the PGA of America ruled that the affected areas would be treated as ground under repair, allowing golfers to move their ball if it landed there or they had to putt through it.
“We felt like our hearts had been ripped out,” Mangum said. “It’s a little bit like cutting yourself with a razor on your wedding day.”