After all the hoopla about Tiger Woods' fine-tuned and finally healthy swing, it would be the flat stick that would ultimately hinder him from having a great first round at the Fry's.com Open at CordeValle, while a group of four players jump out to an early lead in soggy San Martin, CA on Thursday.
Tiger was battling throughout the day, hitting only nine greens in regulation and seven fairways. But aside from a lateral hazard penalty on the par 5 12th that lead to a double bogey, Tiger still played pretty solid, finishing with two pars and two birdies on the day. He missed some short birdie attempts on a couple of occasions, and still put up a decent score considering the rainy conditions in San Martin.
"That's probably one of the worst putting rounds I've ever had," Woods said. "I can't putt the ball any worse than I did today. The hardest part was I just didn't have the speed, I started losing confidence in [my putting stroke] because I wasn't hitting my line. So it was just a downward spiral."
Tiger now finds himself six shots out of the lead, and in danger of missing the cut in two consecutive events for the first time in his career. His swing was looking much better, a very good sign if he can figure out his putting stroke on the difficult CordeValle greens. Hopefully he'll be around for the weekend.
California natives Matt Bettencourt and Brendan Steele finds themselves tied atop a very crowded leaderboard with Briny Baird and Garrett Willis at -4, while another twenty players on their heels within two shots of the lead. No one shot any ridiculous number while the course was in prime scoring condition on Thursday, and as the weather is supposed to be sunny the rest of the weekend look for a tight race the rest of the way at CordeValle.