by Ken Klavon USGA
We're obviously not watching the same Tiger Woods. He looks rusty. He's also getting frustrated. He could be seen mumbling sweet nothings walking off a couple of greens. Problem is he's spraying the ball off the tee, his ball finding the tall junk.
Side note on the range this morning: as the 'big three' were warming up, and by that I mean Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott, two huge video screens were looping through past Open highlights. Purely coincidental, as least I think it was, Mickelson's horrible 18th hole at Winged Foot was right in front of his eyes shot by agonizing shot. How do you ignore that?
Back to Woods. Can't count him out. He's hanging tough, although he has airmailed two greens. However, all he needs to do is post a moderate number today like he always does. If he remains in the mix, he's a threat. Obviously.
OK, Woods finished. He fired that pedestrian number that will allow him to hang around. He did wince on the 18th hole on his drive. "I'm a little sore," he said afterward, referring to his left knee that underwent arthoscopic surgery.
Mickelson posted the best round in the group, shooting even par. He used 3-wood instead of driver.
"With the fairway being as firm as they are, all I needed was a 3-wood," said Mickelson. "I carried driver, I just didn't hit it."
Mickelson chose to carry four wedges in his bag, opting to take out the sand wedge.
As for Scott, have to salute a guy with a broken pinky finger. He hung tough, firing a 2-over 73. He said if he utilized an interlocking grip, there'd be no way he could play this week. He broke the finger, he said, when a friend slammed his hand in a car door in London. Hmmmm.
My apologies to all who have responded about why no comments allowed this year. It was something we couldn't get into the mix this year. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks.