Tiger Tracker: Woods fires opening 71
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Video: Alabama's Thomas wins Haskins Award
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Tiger Woods started hot on Thursday at the Greenbrier Classic, but a sloppy double-bogey at the par-5 17th hole ultimately cost Woods a chance a good round, instead carding a 1-over 71 to sit eight shots off the current lead.
Playing with U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson (X under) and Steve Stricker, Woods moved to 2 under early behind birdies at Nos. 11 and 12, but a bogey at No. 13 and then the double at No. 17 caused him to make the turn at 1-over 37. A pair of birdies and bogeys on his final nine left Tiger at T-67 with most of the afternoon wave yet to tee off.
See how it all happened with our shot-by-shot Tiger Tracker:
• • •
No. 9, Par 4, 404 yards
A strong finish could salvage an up-and-down round for Tiger and put him in a better position going into Friday.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes fairway wood at his final hole of the day and blasts it up the left side of the fairway and leaves himself a wedge shot into the green.
• Approach shot: With wedge in hand and the pin in the very front, Tiger hits the very front of the green, but leaves himself about 25 feet for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger gives his birdie attempt a good run, but it runs past by nearly 3 feet and he knocks that in for a par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 18 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: There is a new leader in the clubhouse, with Vijay Singh turning in a 7-under 63 behind four consecutive birdies to finish his round.
• • •
No. 8, Par 3, 234 yards
That bogey will come back to sting as Tiger starts looking toward Friday and getting in position to play the weekend.
• Off the tee: Playing as the third-toughest hole for the day, Tiger will need to attack the back-left pin. He goes right past the flag and settles 1 foot off the green, just over 20 feet from the cup.
• On the green: Tiger chips to about 3 feet, which he'll have for par. He cleans it up and will be looking for a birdie at No. 9 to try and finish at even par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 17 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Webb Simpson birdied No. 7 to move to 5 under, one shot off Jeff Maggert's lead. Maggert is in the clubhouse with a 6-under 64.
• • •
No. 7, Par 4, 430 yards
Tiger did a nice job there of not letting a wayward drive cause him to drop a shot with a nice, long-range two-putt. Getting one or two birdies over his final three holes would go a long way moving into Friday's second round.
• Off the tee: This hole is all about choice - Robert McClellan had a 387-yard drive on the hole earlier - but Tiger takes 3-wood to be safe and instead puts it into the face of a bunker just off the fairway.
• Approach shot: From an awkward stance with his left foot well above his right, Tiger takes aim from about 170 yards and sends it into a greenside bunker just in front of the pin, short-siding himself.
• Around the green: Tiger really has no shot at stopping the ball near the hole and his bunker shot runs past and settles in the intermediate cut of rough, about 25 feet away.
• On the green: Tiger misses his putt from the fringe and settles for another bogey.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 16 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Jeff Maggert is in the clubhouse at 6 under, one shot clear of J.B. Holmes, Vijay Singh and Andres Romero. Webb Simpson birdied No. 6 to get to 4 under, while Steve Stricker picked up bogey to fall back to 1 under.
• • •
No. 6, Par 4, 471 yards
Tiger now has five birdies on his round and will need to avoid giving this latest one away if he hopes to stay within striking distance.
• Off the tee: Tiger chooses to pull driver again and sends it up the left side and into the rough. Going right would flirt with a fairway bunker.
• Approach shot: After his 344-yard drive, Tiger has a tough angle into the pin, which is protected by two bunkers on the left side. From about 145 yards, Tiger has to take it well past the flag and lands on the green, but will have nearly 50 feet for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger's birdie attempt has a bit too much on it and it runs past on the right and settles 4 feet under the hole. He knocks that in for a solid par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 15 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Ken Duke is in the clubhouse with a 4-under 66 with six birdies and two bogeys.
• • •
No. 5, Par 4, 388 yards
Tiger has flared a couple of approaches to the right, not showing his same pin-point accuracy with his irons that he did last week at Congressional.
• Off the tee: With a creek running through the fairway, distance is not necessarily a big option on the 5th hole. Tiger decides to lay well back, sending his tee ball about 230 yards up the right side of the fairway and leaves himself about 160 yards for his approach.
• Approach shot: This shot might get Tiger going again, sending his second shot to about 4 feet for a look at birdie.
• On the green: Putting from just behind the hole, Tiger buries the putt to again get back to even par, but still six shots off the lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 14 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Vijay Singh and K.J. Choi have joined Webb Simpson at 3 under, three shots back of leader Jeff Maggert. J.B. Holmes is in the clubhouse at 5 under after finishing with three consecutive birdies.
• • •
No. 4, Par 4, 427 yards
Tiger is 9 of 12 in greens in regulation, but has 23 putts through 12 holes. That won't lead to scoring.
• Off the tee: With 3-wood in hand, Tiger attacks another pretty straight hole with bunkers lining the fairway and places it in the middle, leaving himself about 160 yards to the green.
• Approach shot: Tiger drops his club as soon as he makes contact on his second shot, with the ball flaring out to the right and into a bunker.
• Third shot: Tiger hits a nice sand shot to about 4 feet, which he'll have to save par.
• On the green: Tiger drains the putt for a nice up-and-down par, but missed another opportunity with a nice tee ball.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 13 holes)
• • •
No. 3, Par 3, 205 yards
Tiger can't seem to maintain momentum on Thursday, backing up a great birdie on No. 1 with a sloppy bogey on No. 2. While it is only Thursday, sitting six shots off the lead with 33 players in the red, Tiger is putting himself in an uphill battle.
• Off the tee: Hitting into a very long green that is flanked by bunkers on each side, Tiger plays a high draw and puts it safely on the green, but will have just over 25 feet for birdie, putting from the right of the green to the pin on the left side.
• On the green: Tiger reads too much break into his birdie attempt and leaves it about 8 inches to the right. He taps that in for a par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 12 holes)
• • •
No. 2, Par 4, 488 yards
That was a much-needed birdie for Tiger, but is still five shots back of current leaders Andres Romero and Jeff Maggert.
• Off the tee: Playing the extreme dogleg right, Tiger cuts the corner with a 305-yard drive and puts himself right in the middle of the fairway. He is 7 of 9 on fairways hit on Thursday.
• Approach shot: With just over 185 yards left to the middle-back pin, Tiger flares his second shot out to the right, missing the green and giving himself about 45 feet to the flag from the rough.
• Around the green: Tiger is struggling once reaching the green area, stubbing his chip from the rough and leaving it 10 feet short, which he'll have for par.
• On the green: Tiger can't get his par putt to fall, sending it about 15 inches past and he picks up another bogey.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 11 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Tom Watson - the tournament host, of sorts - is even through 12 holes of play (he started on the back nine). Meanwhile, Graham DeLaet has moved to 4 under, one shot off the lead.
• • •
No. 1, Par 4, 449 yards
That was an up-and-down first nine holes for Tiger, running off two early birdies, but erasing them with sloppy putting that led to a bogey and double-bogey. He had 18 putts over his first nine holes.
• Off the tee: A very straight hole with a tight fairway, Tiger takes driver and blasts it up the left side and into the rough.
• Approach shot: Tiger plays a fantastic shot from the rough, taking it right over a greenside bunker and getting the ball to settle 3 feet to the right of the cup.
• On the green: Tiger knocks in the birdie putt - his third birdie of the day - to get back to even par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 10 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Andres Romero has taken the lead at 5 under, with Jeff Maggert one back. Meanwhile Tiger's playing competitor Webb Simpson is at 3 under, with Steve Stricker at 2 under.
• • •
No. 18, Par 3, 162 yards
That wasn't pretty, as Tiger compounded a water ball with a 2-foot miss for bogey on a "scoring" hole.
• Off the tee: Playing the shortest par 3 on the course and the pin in the back, Tiger makes an immediate statement about his 17th-hole debacle with a beautiful tee ball to about 7 feet to the right of the hole.
• On the green: Tiger can't take advantage of the great tee shot, sending his birdie attempt about 2 feet past and he knocks that in for par. Tiger makes the turn after hitting 6 of 7 fairways and 7 of 9 greens, but doesn't have the score to match those impressive stats.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 9 holes)
• • •
No. 17, Par 5, 616 yards
With only two par-5s on the course, this is the last "scoring" hole for Tiger on Thursday, while also being Old White's longest hole.
• Off the tee: Bunkers line both sides of the fairway, including a daunting one on the left side about 350 yards out. Tiger pulls driver again and this time cusses at himself immediately, sending it into the water on the right and will have to take a drop.
• Third shot: After the penalty stroke, Tiger saving par here would be a big accomplishment. From the right rough, Tiger hits a nice shot up the left side of the fairway and leaves himself about 140 yards to the back-left pin.
• Fourth shot: Tiger hits the green, leaving it about 20 feet under the pin, which he'll have to save par.
• On the green: No miracle par here, as Tiger runs his lengthy par attempt to about 2 feet to the right of the cup and then misses the short one to pick up a double-bogey.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 8 holes)
• • •
No. 16, Par 4, 444 yards
Tiger is playing steady golf one-third the way through his first round, but there is better scoring out there, with 30 players at 1 under or better so far on Thursday.
• Off the tee: With water lining the entire right side of the fairway, Tiger takes driver and pummels it 315 yards into the middle of the fairway.
• Approach shot: With only about 105 yards left to the front pin, Tiger takes wedge and flies it over the flag and leaves himself about 18 feet for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger seems to be having a hard time reading these greens, sending his birdie putt more than 3 feet past the cup. He makes the comebacker for par, but another missed opportunity with that huge drive.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 7 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Webb Simpson drops his first shot of the day with a bogey on No. 16. Meanwhile, Steve Stricker has moved to 3 under with a birdie at No. 16.
• • •
No. 15, Par 3, 217 yards
Tiger approaches his first par 3 of the day, with bunkers lining all four corners of the green and the pin located in the front right.
• Off the tee: Tiger seems to be zoned in on greens, knocking his ball right over the flag and it comes to rest about 20 feet beyond the cup.
• On the green: Tiger has to settle for another par after missing his birdie attempt. Despite hitting 5 of 6 greens in regulation, he hasn't had many true birdie chances.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 6 holes)
• • •
No. 14, Par 4, 401 yards
That was an unlikely bogey there considering his nice tee shot, but a slick green cost Tiger some momentum at the 13th.
• Off the tee: Lots of fairway to use here, but also plenty of fairway bunkers to contend with. Tiger chooses to play it safe and takes fairway wood up the right side and will have a nice angle into the front-middle pin.
• Approach shot: Tiger hits another green in regulation, but leaves himself about 30 feet for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger just misses the 30-footer and picks up a par to stay in red figures.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 5 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Webb Simpson seems to be enjoying his pairing with Tiger, moving to 3 under with another birdie at No. 13. He is one shot back of Jeff Maggert.
• • •
No. 13, Par 4, 492 yards
Tiger is perfect on fairways and greens thus far on Thursday and now faces a semi-dogleg right.
• Off the tee: Tiger hammers another tee ball, this time up the right side of the fairway for just over 300 yards, leaving himself less than 185 yards to the back-left pin.
• Approach shot: Tiger stays aggressive and overcooks this one slightly, running off the back of the green and will have about 30 feet to the cup. It is his first missed green of the day.
• Around the green: With the green running away from him, Tiger has to play a flop from the rough and it trickles down toward the hole and leaves about 5 feet for a par save.
• On the green: Tiger drops his first shot of the day, with his 5-footer leaking out to the right and taps in for bogey.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 4 holes)
• • •
No. 12, Par 5, 568 yards
Greenbrier has only two par 5s, both on the back nine. Tiger steps up to his first one of the day, already having picked up a birdie at the 11th.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes driver and rips it up the left side of the fairway to the tune of about 320 yards, leaving himself less than 250 yards to the front-right pin.
• Second shot: After the nice drive, Tiger is ultra-aggressive with his second shot, taking it about 30 feet past the flag and will have that for an early eagle attempt.
• On the green: Tiger gives his eagle putt a run, but comes up just short and taps in for a second-straight birdie. He is currently one shot behind Jeff Maggert.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 3 holes)
• Elsewhere on the course: Tiger's playing competitor, Webb Simpson, also birdies No. 12 to get to 2 under, while Steve Stricker picks up his first birdie to move to 1 under.
• • •
No. 11, Par 4, 493 yards
Greenbrier has an interesting par-70 layout, with Tiger going from the shortest par 4 on the course to the longest one.
• Off the tee: With a bunker to the right of the fairway, Tiger has to be careful and chooses to take 5-wood, but still goes right and just on the edge of the fairway and intermediate cut.
• Approach shot: With the pin tucked in the back left, Tiger has more than 200 yards left to the flag. But, despite the distance, Tiger is able to play a nice draw that was on line the whole way and will have less than 15 feet for birdie.
• On the green: And Tiger strikes early, nailing his birdie putt to get into red numbers early.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 2 holes)
• • •
No. 10, Par 4, 385 yards
Despite a couple of practice rounds, Tiger will be learning the landscape at Greenbrier as he goes, likely settling for being safe off the tee in most cases.
• Off the tee: Tiger sticks with his control game and takes iron off the tee and slides it up the left side of the fairway, leaving less than 150 to the flag.
• Approach shot: With only 135 yards to the green and the pin in the extreme front left, Tiger takes wedge, but pushes it a bit right, and leaves himself about a 45-footer for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger hits a beautiful putt from long distance, leaving himself about two feet for par. He knocks that in for an opening par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 1 hole)
• Elsewhere on the course: Playing competitor Webb Simpson made an opening birdie, while Steve Stricker two-putted inside 10 feet for par.
• • •
Tiger Woods a fantasy favorite this week
Tiger Woods has won three tournaments hosted by legends in 2012 - including his own last weekend - and is the favorite to take home the Greenbrier, hosted by Tom Watson. Would you bet against him? Fantasy Tip Sheet.
• • •
Greenbrier offers a chance for lesser-known players
The Greenbrier Classic might have Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, but it also hosts the opportunity for players such as Billy Hurley III to continue their march toward relevance on the PGA Tour. Story.
• • •
5 Things: Tiger Woods finding his consistency
5 Things: Tiger Woods is showing signs of getting back to his dominant self, and enters this week's Greenbrier Classic as the favorite says Sean Martin. Story.
• • •
Greenbrier Classic Round 1 tee times
Tiger Woods will be paired with U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson and longtime buddy Steve Stricker during the first two rounds at the Greenbrier Classic. Check out the tee times.
Golfweek.com readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.