Koepka's season over after withdrawing from Northern Trust with injury
Aug 21 2020
Playing just his ninth competitive round since the PGA TOUR returned in mid-June after a three-month break, Woods was accompanied by the putter that has been in his hands for almost everything that made him an icon. "I think when you start to get into trouble, if the way you're playing is influencing how you're thinking, how you're feeling, it should be the other way around, right". Even there, he was getting treatment on his hip.
Bar that lapse, it was an altogether impressive opening round that saw McIlroy end up five shots behind leader Harris English after the morning starters.
Woods rolled in a 16-footer at the long par-3 third to get into red figures. 7 and 8 before the hiccup at the last. I had nice pace and I like the speed of these greens.
His first playoff event did not come without some drama.
Woods was seen putting cold water bottles on his neck before the round, too, something that raised concern - especially given his history of injuries in recent years.
"It's just one of those things", said Johnson.
"My lower back is used to it", Woods said of the hot oils. "I chose to put some up on my neck, and it's not as tolerant as my lower back, so it gets awfully hot". Those guys put some pretty hot stuff on their legs, but you become accustomed to it. "My lower back is pretty immune to it, but my neck is not". Woods has played only five times since then.
"This is a real vote of confidence from the European Tour and I want to thank them for placing their trust in Northern Ireland", he added. "They're fast", said Woods.
Koepka's 2019-20 season, which would have concluded with the Tour Championship in early September, is now over because he failed to crack the top 70 of the FedEx Cup points list. The major was originally scheduled for June but was pushed back because of the three-month shutdown forced by the coronavirus.
This week, at a place where Woods has won and played consistently well, the old standby is in play.
Thursday's round was a strong first step in the chase for one of those 30 spots.
His best chance at winning was two weeks ago at the PGA Championship. The 82-time victor is now No. 49 in the FedExCup standings, and will need to jump into the top-30 to qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship.