Golf fans turn on Tiger Woods after 'horrible' scenes at The Open

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·Sports Editor
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Tiger Woods, pictured here shooting his equal-worst opening round at the British Open ever.
Tiger Woods shot his equal-worst opening round at the British Open ever. Image: Getty

Tiger Woods has shot a brutal 6-over 78 in the opening round of The Open Championship at St Andrews, leaving golf fans heartbroken.

Woods dumped his second shot of the tournament into the Swilcan Burn on Thursday, and things didn’t get much better after that.

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The three-time champion ended up with a double bogey on the first hole, while also making double bogey on No.7.

He finished up with 78 on the Old Course, where he won two of his major titles, which marked his equal-worst opening round at the British Open ever.

The bloated score leaves him with little chance of making the weekend in what might be his final Open appearance at St Andrews.

The 46-year-old is now facing the almost inevitable ignominy of missing successive British Open cuts for the first time in his grand career.

An ailing and ageing Woods hobbled around the Old Course in Thursday's first round to be languishing in equal 148th spot in the 156-man field.

Seventeen years after joining Jack Nicklaus as the only two-time Open winner around St Andrews in more than a century, Woods chalked up five bogeys and two doubles on his self-proclaimed "favourite course" in the world.

Tiger Woods, pictured here in action during the first round of the British Open at St Andrews.
Tiger Woods in action during the first round of the British Open at St Andrews. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The 15-time major winner had just three birdies on a day when Australian battler Brad Kennedy and US first-round leader Cameron Young had eight each.

Compounding Woods' woes - his dreadful round took a painstaking six hours and eight minutes to complete.

The American trails Young by 14 shots and will start Friday's second round six strokes outside the projected cut line.

Woods missed the cut in his most recent Open start at Royal Portrush in 2019, before missing last year's edition at Royal St George's following his devastating car crash in Los Angeles in February 2021.

Fans and pundits were left gutted for Woods, with many saying his struggles were hard to watch.

Rory McIlroy in sparkling start at British Open

Young held the clubhouse lead on Thursday thanks to firing eight birdies in a flawless 64, a score only Rory McIlroy has beaten in the opening round of an Open Championship on the Old Course.

McIlroy's 63 came back in 2010 and was followed by an 80 in terrible weather, while an ankle injury suffered playing football prevented him from bidding to retain the Claret Jug at the same venue in 2015.

The four-time major winner admitted this week therefore felt like the title defence he never had - and he enjoyed an ideal start, holing from 55ft for birdie on the first and making seven in total in his 66, the same score he shot to begin his wire-to-wire victory at Hoylake.

On a day when the early starters took full advantage of benign conditions, Australia's Cameron Smith carded a 67 while amateur Barclay Brown returned a superb 68 which was matched by Viktor Hovland and Lee Westwood.

Rory McIlroy, pictured here during the opening round of the British Open at St Andrews.
Rory McIlroy looks on during the opening round of the British Open at St Andrews. (Photo by Stuart Kerr/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

But all eyes were on McIlroy, who started with a 65 in the US PGA, a 67 in the US Open and now 66 at St Andrews.

"Yeah, fantastic start," McIlroy said.

"Just what you hope will happen when you're starting off your week. I did everything that you're supposed to do around St Andrews.

"It's another good start at a major, three in a row for me now, and I'm looking forward to the next few days.

"I need to go out tomorrow and back up what I just did today."

McIlroy said about the course: "It's the fiddliest Open that I've played.

"Carnoustie was firm in 2018 but it wasn't like this. I think as the tournament progresses, you're going to get some funny bounces and it's going to test your patience at times.

"Fiddly hasn't really been my forte over the years - but I'm hopefully going to make it my forte this week."

with agencies

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