Tiger Woods’ escape from the literal woods at the par-4 first on Thursday at Valhalla was wildly impressive. Well, impressive to everybody but Woods himself.

Woods, who began his opening round of the 2024 PGA Championship on the 10th hole, made the turn in one-over par and appeared destined for more trouble when his tee shot found the trees at No. 1. Instead, Woods went full artist-mode, carving a right-to-left 8 iron around all the lumber and somehow finding the green, setting up a 19-footer for birdie. As ESPN’s Marty Smith informed him following his round of one-over 72, the shot left the entire broadcast crew speechless. 

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But for Woods, it was just another day at the office, which he later confirmed in his post-round presser when asked how he would rate his escape on No. 1 in terms of difficulty.  

“You’ve seen me play,” Woods said. “I’ve hit a few shots out of the trees.”


“I could see the whole green,” he said. “I could see it underneath the trees. I just had to go around a few trees. Hit a nice little draw 8-iron in there. I was expecting to hit it just left of the green and chip back up, but it dug in and landed soft and dug in and had a 25-footer.”

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Standard stuff for perhaps the greatest shotmaker of all time. Like he said, he’s carved a few out of the woods before. Nothing new here. 

While he was unable to capitalize with a birdie, he did play the next six holes in two under, but unfortunately a pair of three-putt bogeys on the eighth and ninth holes spoiled what had been a gritty round for 16 holes. Still, his one-over 72 should position him nicely to make a run at the weekend on Friday afternoon, when Woods will tee off at 1:29 p.m. ET. 


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This article was originally published on golfdigest.com