Tiger Woods in frosty moment with cameraman at PGA Championship

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Tiger Woods was not too pleased with the proximity of a cameraman during his opening round at the PGA Championship. Pic: Fox Sports/Getty
Tiger Woods was not too pleased with the proximity of a cameraman during his opening round at the PGA Championship. Pic: Fox Sports/Getty

Things didn't exactly go to plan for Tiger Woods in his opening round at the PGA Championship, and a run-in with a cameraman summed up the American's frustrations at Southern Hills.

Six bogeys on his last 10 holes saw Woods sign off for a four-over 74 - nine shots off the blistering early pace of outright leader, Rory McIlroy.

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Woods faces an uphill battle to make the cut as he did at the Masters, where he opened with a 71 and made the cut, only to fade out of contention with back-to-back rounds of 78 over the weekend.

In Oklahoma, Woods played his first five holes in two under par but struggled from then on and admitted his right leg, which he feared could have been amputated following last year's car crash, was not "feeling as good as I would like".

"I drove it well, but my iron shots were not very good," Woods said.

"I didn't get the ball very close. I got off to a great start and didn't keep it going. I really didn't give myself many looks for birdie.

“It was a frustrating day.”

Woods was noticeably limping as he walked away from completing his post-round television interviews and added: "My leg is not feeling as good as I would like it to be. We'll start the recovery process and get after it tomorrow."

It was a rollercoaster opening round for the American, who clashed with a camera operator after his drive on the first hole.

Woods was not happy with the close proximity of the cameraman and became increasingly annoyed after asking him several times to back off.

“Would you mind giving me some breathing space?” Woods asked. “Please?”

When the man failed to act after the 15-time major winner's second request, Woods became irritated as he more forcefully asked a third time.

“Could you back off a little bit and give me some breathing space? Back off a little bit and give me some breathing space!”

Woods was playing in a star-studded group that included McIlroy and four-time major winner, Jordan Spieth - who needs the PGA Championship title to compete a golfing grand slam of all four majors.

McIlroy carded seven birdies and two bogeys in an opening 65 to set the target on five under par, a shot ahead of the American pair Will Zalatoris and Tom Hoge.

"It was a great start to the tournament," said McIlroy, who made four birdies in a row on his front nine and had an outside chance of equalling the lowest score in men's major history when he reached six under after 14 holes.

Since winning the last of his four majors in the 2014 US PGA, McIlroy had been a combined 35 over par in the first round of golf's four biggest tournaments, his latest effort being a one-over-par 73 in April's Masters.

But perhaps inspired by his pairing with Woods and Spieth - who carded a two-over 72 - it was a different story on the opening day at Southern Hills, where Woods won the 13th of his 15 majors in 2007.

"I've been playing well coming in here. I've been carrying some good form. Obviously I took a lot from that last round at Augusta (64), played well at the Wells Fargo there and played good in the practice rounds earlier this week.

"I think when your game is feeling like that, it's just a matter of going out there and really sticking to your game plan, executing as well as you possibly can, and just sort of staying in your own little world.

"I did that really well today. It was nice to get off to that good start and sorta keep it going.

"It is a great start but I'm not getting ahead of myself. I did pretty much everything you need to do out there and I'm going to have to keep doing the same the next three days."

Pictured here, Rory McIlroy plays his shot from the sixth tee during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship.
Rory McIlroy plays his shot from the sixth tee during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills. Pic: Getty

Former world No.1 Justin Thomas carded the best round of the afternoon starters to join Matt Kuchar and Abraham Ancer in fourth place on three under, with Australia's Cameron Smith and Lucas Herbert among those a stroke further back.

Herbert closed to within a shot of the lead with four holes to play, but dropped two shots over the closing stretch and had to settle for 68.

World No.4 Smith mixed seven birdies with three bogeys and a double.

with agencies

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