Tiger Woods had a miserable 78 in the first round. Starting with a grimace after his opening tee shot he is looking out of sorts, not walking well with a restricted backswing and doesnt appear to be making a proper hip turn through the ball. With the rain and the colder weather, currently 16 degrees, perhaps his back is stiffening up. But oerhaps it is just lack of feel. Although he prepared by playing two full rounds on Monday and Tuesday and working on his short game extensively yesterday, his lack of competitive practice may be showing too. He’s played only three events since winning The Masters and missed the cut at the PGA Championship. But the demands of Royal Portrush in terms of shotmaking – hitting the ball each way, high and low, are not being met. I wonder about Tiger’s extreme fitness regime, whether it has put additional pressure on his back. Or it may be his decision to play more post major season leading up to the FedEx playoffs that is not working in his favour. He doesnt look in pain today, just stiff and uncomfortable.