Tiger Woods' struggles on par-5s lead to 76 in first round of Zozo Championship

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Tiger Woods has enjoyed a lot of success over the years at Sherwood Country Club, which had to make his performance on Thursday during the first round of the Zozo Championship all the more frustrating.

For the first time in his PGA Tour career, Woods played three par-5 holes over par in the same round, leading to his worst score ever at Sherwood, a 4-over-par 76 that left him 12 strokes behind leader Sebastian Munoz and only a shot better than last place.

Woods did not speak with reporters afterward.

Making just his eighth start of 2020, Woods, 44, finds himself well out of contention early, a common theme throughout the six events he has played since the restart in June following the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.

Wayward tee shots at the 11th, 13th and 16th holes -- Sherwood's back-nine par-5s -- led to a bogey, double bogey and bogey, respectively, and left him battling to pull his round together. During a Tuesday practice round, Woods had played those holes going birdie, birdie, eagle -- or an eight-stroke difference.

But practice isn't tournament golf, and Woods himself has clearly wondered if he has played enough competitive rounds to be ready for his Masters defense next month.

That is why he surprisingly disclosed on Tuesday that he was considering playing the Vivint Houston Open the week before the Masters. In 20 Masters appearances as a pro, Woods has never played a tournament the week before going to Augusta National for the Masters.

"This entire year has been different for all of us.'' Woods said on Tuesday. "And my run-up to Augusta is unlike anything I've ever experienced. That's just the way it is. The whole idea is to be ready in a few weeks and whether or not that's playing one more event, whether that's Houston or just playing here at Zozo, just making sure that I'm ready for Augusta.''

Woods has plans to visit Augusta National prior to tournament week, but those are complicated by rules that this year limit the availability of the course and who can join him the week before the Masters. That is why the Houston Open is even a possibility.

There did not appear to be any physical issues Thursday for Woods, who struggled with back stiffness last month at the U.S. Open, where he missed the cut.

For the day, Woods hit just seven of 13 fairways and only 10 of 18 greens. He was last in the field in strokes gained off the tee and 75th out of 77 in strokes gained tee to green. Even in strokes gained approach, one of his strengths, he was just 75th.

Sherwood is the former home to Woods' annual World Challenge charity event and he played the tournament 12 times, winning five times and finishing second five times. The 76 is his worst in 49 rounds on the course.