FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — The wait between Tiger Woods’ final putt at last month’s Masters and his first drive at the PGA Championship was 32 days. It was a period of intense celebration, not-so-quiet nostalgia and renewed speculation over whether Woods can catch Jack Nicklaus and his hallowed record of 18 majors.

It was not, however, a period that saw Woods hit a competitive golf shot as the 43-year-old elected to rest a body that will need more and more breaks as time goes on.

At times during Thursday’s first round, the extended layoff, which included skipping out on Wednesday’s practice round because he felt sick, seemed like a mistake.

Over one stretch, it seemed like a calculated blessing.

In the end, Woods carded a meh 2-over 72 on a sunny morning at Bethpage Black, a result that …read more



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