British Open 2019: Tiger Woods’ first-tee grimace at Portrush has Twitter buzzing
Questions swirled all week about how Tiger Woods’ body would handle the rough conditions and terrain of the Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
It took just one swing — and one televised grimace — to turn those questions into grave concern. Woods’ tee shot off the 1st hole drifted into the thick rough on the left of the fairway. As the camera panned back to Woods, he noticeably winced.
“I would deem that as a twinge,” Nick Faldo said on the Golf Channel telecast.
Twitter, well, did what Twitter does.
A face no one wants to see. pic.twitter.com/lHehPgt68T
— GOLF.com (@GOLF_com) July 18, 2019
Ummmmm what was that grimace from Tiger on the 1st hole he must have just not liked that shot he's definitely not in pain right right RIGHT?!
— Daniel Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) July 18, 2019
Me after seeing Tiger grimace in pain on his first tee shot of the day. pic.twitter.com/CB3PdQCFKJ
— Travis Allard (@travall12) July 18, 2019
— Eagle Valley GC 🦅 (@EagleValleyGC) July 18, 2019
Tiger pulls it left off the first tee and immediately grimaces in pain. pic.twitter.com/XEjYnxi6Rd
— By The Flagstick (@ByTheFlagstick) July 18, 2019
These social media conclusions, it should be noted, are mere presumptions. Others speculated that the grimace was in reaction to the result of the shot, not pain. It also should be noted that Woods went on to save par on the hole, walking in a 12-foot putt after getting out of a tricky greenside bunker.
There has been no visible evidence of any pain since. Still, it is known, both from evidence and Woods’ own words, that cooler temperatures and adverse weather conditions hurt his chances. That was among the chief reasons expectations were tempered for him this week.
Regardless of how he plays, eyes will be glued to his reactions all week, with fans hoping his body can hold up to give it a real go at the final major of the season.