THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The scorecards of Sebastian Munoz and Tiger Woods were unusual for different reasons Thursday in the Zozo Championship at Sherwood. That was only good news for one of them.
Munoz twice holed out for eagle from a combined distance of 219 yards. He also had eight birdies. Throw in a wild tee shot for double bogey, three bogeys and only five pars and it added to an 8-under 64 and a one-shot lead.
“Not a normal round,” Munoz said.
That especially was the case for Woods. For the first time in his 1,277 rounds on the PGA Tour as a pro, he made bogey or worse on three par 5s in a single round. That led to a 4-over 76 — by two shots his worst score in 49 rounds at Sherwood Country Club — that left him 12 shots out of the lead and in no mood to talk.
Munoz, the Colombian who played his college golf at North Texas, finished off his bizarre round by saving par from a narrow section of the front bunker with a 15-foot putt on the 18th hole.
He was one shot ahead of Tyrrell Hatton, the hottest golfer this month, and Justin Thomas, who had a hot finish. Hatton won the European Tour flagship event at Wentworth, flew to Las Vegas for the CJ Cup and tied for third. Thomas shot 29 on the back nine at Sherwood. They each had a 65.
Whether it was shocking to see Woods so far back on this course is a matter of perspective. He is a five-time winner at Sherwood, along with five runner-up finishes, against small fields in a holiday exhibition. He was playing only his third competitive round in the last seven weeks, and his first since missing the cut in the U.S. Open a month ago.
The rust was evident, and a few bad breaks didn't help his cause. He pushed his tee shot on the par-5 11th to the right, normally not a big deal except the ball stopped rolling in the dirt between two trees about 18 inches apart. Woods couldn't believe it when he got to his ball and wasted no time inverting a sand wedge to hit out left-handed.