Tiger's happy hunting ground bites him back

Another tournament, another low point for Tiger Woods. For the first time in 11 appearances at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida, the former world No 1 opened up with an over-par score yesterday.

Granted, Woods's one-over 73 was far from disastrous on a tough, windy first round which saw Graeme McDowell, the US Open champion, shoot an 80. Nevertheless, Woods, who has won the event six times, is out of the top 30, seven behind the leader, Spencer Levin, and looking extremely doubtful to break his 19-tournament losing run.

The 18th would have hurt most. This is the hole where Woods has staged so many grandstand finishes, most pertinently on his last two visits to Bay Hill when final-green putts has seen him lift the title. This time it was a lame bogey. Rough off the tee, lay up, chip, two putts. Hardly the Woods legend.

Of course, it is a recoverable situation, particularly as he is almost certain to benefit from the easier conditions this morning. But this year's form does not suggest he is up to producing the huge morale-booster with which to enter The Masters in two weeks' time.

As it stands, Levin, an unheralded compatriot, is setting the pace on six-under, three shots clear of Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan. England's Brian Davisand the reigning Masters champion, Phil Mickelson, are among those another shot back on two-under.

Way back is McDowell. The world No 4 slumped to an eight-over-par total, carding six bogeys, a triple-bogey eight on the par-five sixth and just one birdie to lie joint last in the 120-strong field.

The Ulsterman had predicted the course would provide a rigorous test this week and was proved right on a windy introduction. Starting on the back nine, McDowell dropped shots on the 11th, 15th and 17th to be out in 39. Two more bogeys followed on the first and second before McDowell looked to have stopped the rot with a birdie on the third. However, the worst was yet to come with an eight on the par-five sixth, where McDowell went for the green in two but found the water on the dog-leg hole.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea