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How Tiger Woods was consistently inconsistent to start the U.S. Open

AP Photo/John Minchillo

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Tiger Woods' first round at the U.S. Open was a microcosm of the state of his golf game since he returned after the three-month shutdown because of the coronavirus -- he had some rough moments, a few good moments and plenty of moments of inconsistency.

There were stretches of bogeys. A back-to-back-to-back birdie run. One messy double on the final hole of the day. A steady diet of missed fairways.

In the end, the scorecard added up to a 3-over 73.

A lot happened to get to that number. Here is how his first round at Winged Foot unfolded:

No. 1: Par-4, 451 yards

Tiger Woods opens his U.S. Open at Winged Foot by hitting the first fairway, finding the green and rolling two putts for par. He'd be fine with repeating that 71 more times.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: Even

No. 2: Par-4, 484 yards

Welcome to the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Tiger Woods has to grind out par at No. 2 after a bad tee shot into the fairway bunker left him 40 yards behind Thomas and Morikawa. Dumped approach into greenside trap, but gets up and down. Pars take work here.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: Even

No. 3: Par-3, 243 yards

Not that he wants to make this a habit, but Tiger Woods with another sand save. He gets up and down at the third to salvage par. All three players missed the green - get used to that, it's a 240-yard par 3 - and Woods and Morikawa were both able to convert, while Thomas could not.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: Even

No. 4: Par-4, 467 yards

It's never good when you hit a putt, then need to go back and get an iron. That's what happened to Tiger Woods at the fourth. Just 20 feet from the front edge, his putt rolled past the hole, over a slope and off the green. His comeback chip scooted 6 feet by. He rolled that in, but it was a lot of effort just to make bogey.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Bogey

Total for the day: 1 over

No. 5: Par-4, 502 yards

Another missed fairway then leads to the dreaded one-foot-in, one-foot-out-of-the-bunker shot for Tiger Woods. Another bogey. It's been a struggle early on a tough course in benign conditions.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Bogey

Total for the day: 2 over

No. 6: Par-4, 321 yards

Maybe the strategy is iron off the tee? Tiger Woods finds just his second fairway by putting away the heavy lumber at the sixth. He carves a wedge into the tucked-right pin and rolls in a 5-footer for his first birdie of the championship.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Birdie

Total for the day: 1 over

No. 7: Par-3, 162 yards

Tiger Woods with a solid approach to the par-3 seventh. Can't convert the birdie, but that's back-to-back stress-free holes. He needed a little break after how much work it took to get through the first five.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 1 over

No. 8: Par-4, 490 yards

Tiger goes back to the driver at No. 8, which means back to the rough. The difference between fairway and rough - even though he missed by just a few feet - is severe at Winged Foot. And that small miss off the tee comes with another bogey.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Bogey

Total for the day: 2 over

No. 9: Par-5, 565 yards

A wide drive and another missed fairway at the lone par 5 on the front took away the chance for going for the green in two for Tiger Woods. But he got himself back in position to have a lengthy birdie putt - which dropped. He goes out in 1-over 36. It took a lot of work.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Birdie

Total for the day: 1 over

No. 10: Par-3, 214 yards

The putter is getting a little hot for Tiger. After rolling one in for birdie to close the front nine, he drains another at the 10th to move himself back to even par. Two big birdies there.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Birdie

Total for the day: Even

No. 11: Par-4, 384 yards

Look out ... Tiger Woods has it going. After his bogey at No. 8, he's rattled off three consecutive birdies to get to 1 under for the U.S. Open. Given how much of a struggle it was early, the turnaround has been a bit of surprise. He's not the only one that's got it going in the group. Justin Thomas also has posted three straight birdies.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Birdie

Total for the day: 1 under

No. 12: Par-5, 633 yards

Golf is cruel. Tiger Woods had an 8-footer for a fourth consecutive birdie at 12. Started walking after it ... but then it curls out.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 1 under

No. 13: Par-3, 212 yards

Tiger Woods with a mistake off the tee at the long par-3 13th hole. Misses the green and can't scramble this time. A strong run is halted with a bogey to move him back to even par.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Bogey

Total for the day: Even

No. 14: Par-4, 452 yards

How bad is the rough at Winged Foot? Tiger Woods missed the fairway at the 14th -- heard that before today? -- but had just 160 yards to the green. He couldn't get it there. Hacked it out, but could only advance about 130. Not his best pitch leaves him with a 12-footer for par. Doesn't make it. All those good vibes from the three straight birdies are gone.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Bogey

Total for the day: 1 over

No. 15: Par-4, 426 yards

If you have any questions about the bunkering at Winged Foot, Tiger Woods is the guy to ask. He's seen more than a few of them. Found another one off the tee at 15. Muscled his approach from 180 yards to the back of the green then gently coaxed in a two-putt par from above the hole.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Par

Total for the day: 1 over

No. 16: Par-4, 498 yards

The 16th hole is not a birdie hole. It's a monster at 498 yards. Of course, Tiger Woods rolls in a 20-footer for just the third birdie of the day to that point. No matter what happens on the final two holes, he's going to be signing a scorecard with a lot of plenty of circles (birdies), squares (bogeys) and pars.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Birdie

Total for the day: Even

No. 17: Par-4, 504 yards

The hills-and-valleys round for Tiger Woods continues. Steals one with a birdie at 16, gives it right back with a bogey at 17. As he walks to the last tee, here is what he's done: Five birdies, six bogeys, six pars.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Bogey

Total for the day: 1 over

No. 18: Par-4, 469 yards

What a strange round for Tiger Woods. He missed fairways, found a lot of bunkers, rolled in some long putts, chunked a chip on the final hole. He carded six bogeys, six pars, five birdies and one double. It's one of the most complicated ways ever to shoot 3-over 73.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com40d ago

Score: Double-bogey

Total for the day: 3-over 73