Woods, six months shy of his 40th birthday, had his worst U.S. Open round ever Thursday, shooting a 10-over 80. Of 156 golfers, only two had a worse round: Rich Berberian Jr., who shot an 83, and Rickie Fowler, who shot an 81.

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UNIVERSITY PLACE — Tiger Woods has lost his swing. On Thursday, he lost his way at Chambers Bay in rather incredible fashion, and then he lost his ball in an abyss that no professional golfer was supposed to concern himself with this week.

 

But give Woods credit for this: He hasn’t lost his sense of humor.

Woods, six months shy of his 40th birthday, had his worst U.S. Open round ever Thursday, shooting a 10-over 80 in the first round. In a field of 156 golfers, only two had a worse round: Rich Berberian Jr., who shot an 83 in his first major championship, and one of Woods’ playing partners, Rickie Fowler, who shot an 81.

Photos from the U.S. Open

“At least I kicked Rickie’s butt today,” Woods quipped.

Their round completed a little before 8 p.m., Woods and Fowler met on the edge of the 18th green, greeting each other with a chuckle and a pat on the back, elated, it seemed, to have it all come to an end.

Their wayward round was the most stunning development of the first round: Woods, of course, is a 14-time major champion and one of the most accomplished golfers ever, and Fowler finished second at the U.S. Open last year.

“Not very happy, that’s for sure,” Woods said. “It was a tough day.”

His most peculiar shot of the day was one of his last. After a solid drive onto the 18th fairway, Woods badly topped his second shot with a fairway wood; the ball skipped ahead and plunged into the hellish, 10-foot pot bunker — dubbed “Chambers Basement” — nestled 120 yards in front of the green. USGA executive director Mike Davis had ordered the bunker built a few years ago, hoping to add strategy to the hole, but he had said he didn’t think it would come into play for the world’s best golfers.

Oops.

Woods walked down the nine steps into the pot bunker and quickly punched his ball out. He wound up with a 6 on the par-5 18th — his ninth bogey (or worse) of the day.

He had only one birdie in what ended as his third round of 80 or worse in seven tournaments this year. For perspective, he only had one round in the 80s from 1996 to 2014 (he shot an 81 in the third round of the 2002 British Open).

Since late last year, Woods has been working with a new swing coach, Chris Como, who is helping the world’s former No. 1 retool his swing for the fifth time in his career.

He remains convinced the changes will pay off.

“I know when I do it right, it’s so easy,” he said. “I just need to do it more often and build from there.”

Woods had a bogey-bogey start to his round Thursday, and as he passed through the gallery behind the No. 2 green, one fan could sense Woods needed a pick-me-up: “Cheer up, Tiger. You can do it!”

It only got worse for Woods. On the par-5 No. 8, he hit the blooper reels in spectacular fashion: On his second shot, from the deep rough far to the right of the fairway, his iron slipped out of his hands after making contact with the ball; the club sailed high and well behind him toward the fairway.

Somehow, he managed a par on the hole, and then made the turn at 4 over.

Any chance of getting his round back was gone with a bogey-bogey-bogey-triple-bogey stretch on Nos. 11 through 14. That’s 6-over on four holes, unheard of for Tiger Woods. And, after that, his round was lost for good.