Early Momentum Fades for Tiger Woods at 2024 U.S. Open

Early Momentum Fades for Tiger Woods at 2024 U.S. Open

An early surge at the beginning of the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 saw Tiger Woods briefly touching the lead. Woods made a birdie on the par-5 10th hole, converting an 11-foot putt. Crucial par saves from similar distances on Nos. 12 and 13 kept him in contention. However, a missed opportunity on the short par-4 14th and his first missed fairway on the 16th hole led to his first dropped shot.

Compounding his troubles, a miscalculated second putt on No. 17 further hindered his momentum. Despite these setbacks, Woods remained within earshot of the lead after making the turn in an even-par 36.

Struggles on the Front Nine

The front nine proved to be less forgiving. Woods's putter began to betray him, and he carded five bogeys over a seven-hole stretch. This caused him to drift down the leaderboard, eventually sitting in a tie for 87th, just a stroke off the projected cutline.

Amidst the struggles, Woods made a crucial birdie on the par-5 5th and saved par from 8 feet on the intimidating par-3 6th. An impressive 17-footer on No. 7 temporarily offered hope, but the pressure on the putter cost him another shot on the par-4 8th. Throughout his round, Woods's overall play was hindered by inconsistencies. He hit 12 of 14 fairways but managed to hit only 10 greens in regulation.

Inconsistencies in Play

Woods gave himself just one birdie chance across the par-4s and bogeyed six of his last 12 holes. Moving forward, Woods will need to see significant improvement in his approach shots. Despite demonstrating a tactical approach around Pinehurst No. 2, often playing conservatively and aiming for the fat sides of greens, his tactics require better precision and execution.

For Woods to claw his way back into the tournament, his irons must start cooperating. While Woods may have had a rocky start at the 2024 U.S. Open, his performance is far from over. He has shown time and again his ability to bounce back from adversity. With a focused approach and slight tweaks to his game, Woods remains within striking distance.


Reflecting on his early struggles, Woods mentioned, "Woods's birdie bid from 11 feet failed to threaten the hole." Additionally, his second putt on the par-3 17th "fell by the wayside," resulting in a second square on the scorecard. However, there were highlights, such as "a birdie on the par-5 5th" that came "courtesy of a towering 4-iron from the middle of the fairway."

Woods's early challenges underline the unpredictable nature of golf. While the start of the 2024 U.S. Open has been turbulent for Woods, his resilience and experience provide a foundation for a potential comeback. The upcoming rounds will be crucial for him to refine his approach and capitalize on scoring opportunities. Fans and followers of the sport will undoubtedly keep a close watch as Woods maneuvers through the competition, hoping to see glimpses of his former brilliance.