x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Bogeys bug erratic Tiger Woods

World No 1 Tiger Woods has a day to forget at the British Open Championship, sliding to a one-over-par 71 in the opening round.

TURNBERRY // Tiger Woods was outscored by both of his first-round playing partners and the world No 1 went straight to the practice range after signing for an error-strewn one-over-par 71. "Hopefully I can play a little better tomorrow, clean it up and hit it better than I did today. Realistically I should have shot two under but I made too many mistakes," said Woods, irritated by successive bogeys at 15 and 16 which means his first objective will be to survive tonight's halfway cut. England's Lee Westwood and the exciting Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa did manage the 68s Woods was looking for and both held their composure admirably as they were tracked all the way by the day's biggest gallery. Ishikawa has a cult following in the Far East to compare with the worldwide acclaim that Woods enjoys, and this was the first opportunity the 14-time major champion has had to assess the precocious talents of the newcomer. "His game is pretty impressive, isn't it?" was the verdict. It was pretty erratic, too, especially on the way out as Ishiwaka's three birdies were cancelled out by three bogeys. He looked a lot steadier heading for home and birdies at the short 15th and long 17th left him handily placed. While Ishiwaka was satisfied to resume this afternoon at two under, Westwood was disgruntled to post the same score, especially after starting his round with three straight birdies. A missed four-footer for a two at the fourth stopped his charge and a bogey six at the seventh upset him even more. He then gave back his two back-nine birdies by double-bogeying the 16th to reflect: "Sixty-eight is probably as bad as it could have been. But you can only play your way out of the tournament in the first round, so 68 is right in there. I probably would have taken somewhere around that mark at the start of the day. "I had a lot of chances from 15 to 20 feet all day, so if I can keep that going, I'll be happy." wjohnson@thenational.ae