updated 04/30/2010 AT 6:00 AM ET
•originally published 04/30/2010 AT 8:10 AM ET
Thursday was a terrible day for Tiger Woods. How terrible?
“I hit a bunch of balls left, I hit a bunch of balls right, hit a few down the middle,” Woods, 34, said. “And that was about it.”
His final summation? “The hell with it.”
The setting: Quail Hollow Championship, In Charlotte, N.C., where the champ – who since November has been dealing with something other than golf – hit two tee shots in the water and shot a 2-over-par 74, trailing leader Bo Van Pelt by nine shots and ending his streak of 21 straight rounds at par or better.
“Sometimes when I shoot a high round, I put the clubs away – or break a few,” he said at a press conference afterwards, according to a transcript on the PGA Tour Web site. “I’m just going to let it go today.”
Quail Hollow – where Tiger’s very attendance is credited for a surge in spectator-ticket sales of 30,000 – is Woods’s second tournament back from his self-imposed break to deal with personal issues and his first regular PGA Tour event after his return at the Masters earlier this month
Asked if, after being away for so long, could he cut himself some slack, Woods answered: “I’m trying. I’m trying. But when you’re fighting a miss like this and trying to piece together a round to keep myself in the tournament, it’s pretty tough. I try to be easy on myself, but I know what I can do and I’m not doing it.”
Meet Sandra Bullock’s baby! For the whole story – including photos of her son Louis, an emotional interview about her breakup with Jesse James and her life as a new mom – pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday