With each passing round of golf, it appears less likely that Tiger Woods will ever win another major championship. His Masters miracle in 2019 feels like a lifetime ago, as injuries and Father Time continue to wear down the legend. Adding to that mix the arduous challenges that Pinehurst No. 2 presents just feels unbearably brutal.

Woods struggled to find his footing in the opening round of the U.S. Open and could be in danger of missing the cut after tallying a 4-over par 74 on Thursday. He had six bogeys and two birdies as his putter let him down a number of times and overshadowed a decent driving effort. However, it was the 48-year-old's iron game that proved to be particularly costly.

Woods consistently failed to position himself close to the cup, a plight that plagued several well-known competitors and former major champions, including the hottest golfer on the planet. The perfect balance is needed to thrive on these greens, but the 82-time PGA Tour winner (tied with Sam Snead for most in history) is just hoping to survive Friday and sneak into the weekend.

He has yet to find a groove with his iron stroke, dating back to his practice sessions leading up to the U.S. Open.

“Yeah, they were OK,” Tiger Woods said, per Sports Illustrated's Mike McDaniel. “It wasn't as good as I like. I was pretty one-dimensional earlier in the week, which is interesting. I was drawing the ball a lot. Now I'm cutting the ball a lot [laughs]. Welcome to golf.”

The unpredictability of this unforgiving sport can sometimes yield magical results, and that is what the 15-time major champ will need if he hopes to legitimately contend for the title.

Can Tiger Woods make it to Father's Day?

Tiger Woods plays his shot from the second tee box during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Following a 12-foot birdie on his opening hole, Woods briefly grabbed a share of the lead. It was all too fleeting, however. Fans were eventually reminded how difficult it will be for the golf icon to top the field going forward.

He has combusted in both majors this year, totaling an 82 on moving day at the Masters and missing the cut at the PGA Championship in May. A rough showing on Thursday portends another disappointing outcome at the U.S. Open.

For Woods, the focus may end up shifting to savoring the moment rather than contending for his first-ever win at Pinehurst No. 2 (currently trails coleaders Patrick Cantlay and Rory McIlroy by nine strokes).

Regardless of where he finishes on the leaderboard, this has the makings of a special Father's Day for Woods. His teenage son, Charlie Woods, is present with him in North Carolina and has been helping with the preparation process. Having someone he trusts completely by his side could be a big boost for Woods going into Round 2.

The odds are slim, but they always are at this point. The important thing is for him to simply start playing well for the duration of 18 holes again. Tiger Woods hopes to reach that benchmark on Friday afternoon, starting at approximately 1:14 p.m. ET.