Friday, May 07, 2010

Tiger tees off with 70 (-2) at The Players Championship

Donald and Westwood make impressive start

Tiger Woods started with a drive into trees and ended with another into a lake, but in between dug so deep that he was able to sign for an opening two under par 70 at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach Florida.
Six days after his dreadful 79 at Quail Hollow, Woods matched the score of Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who could take his world number one spot on Sunday, but they were four behind the leaders, Australian Robert Allenby and American JB Holmes.
They were also three behind Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, both impressive as they began their bids to make it three European victories in a row at the £6.2million event, golf's richest, following the successes of Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia.
There had been criticism of Woods' swing following his missed cut - by a massive eight strokes - last week, but he said after his three-birdie, one-bogey round: "People need to be realistic.
I'd had only six competitive rounds in seven months. It takes time. It takes tournaments. I don't feel too bad about it."
Rory McIlroy, the winner on Sunday, managed only a one over 73 and like Woods went into the water on the dangerous 18th - it was his ninth - but Donald and Westwood both made magnificent birdies there to finish with 67s.
While Donald - runner-up in 2005 - was all smiles, compatriot Greg Owen was all seething fury after becoming yet another victim of one of the most famous holes in the sport.
A quadruple bogey seven on the tiny 137-yard 17th left the Mansfield player ready to explode after he handed in a one over 73.
"I'm not saying a word about the 17th - I'm fuming at the moment," said Owen when asked by a US Tour official to speak to reporters.
"Forget the 17th please. This is The Players Championship, I've not had a great year, I was playing nicely and I go and do that."
Par 72
66 J B Holmes, Robert Allenby (Aus)
67 Kenny Perry, Ben Crane, Ryuji Imada (Jpn), Luke Donald (Eng), Heath Slocum, Lee Westwood (Eng), Ryan Moore, Jason Bohn
68 Francesco Molinari (Ita), Scott McCarron, Charley Hoffman, Matt Kuchar, J J Henry, John Rollins, Bill Haas, Bo Van Pelt, Troy Matteson, Tim Clark (Rsa)
69 Nick Watney, Ross Fisher (Eng), Sergio Garcia (Spa), Davis Love III, Woody Austin, Alex Cejka (Ger), Alex Prugh, Kevin Stadler, Vijay Singh (Fij), Fredrik Jacobson (Swe), Paul Goydos, Jim Furyk, K J Choi (Kor), Andres Romero (Arg), Boo Weekley, Henrik Stenson (Swe)
70 Tiger Woods, Jeff Overton, Bill Lunde, Oliver Wilson (Eng), Brian Gay, Martin Kaymer (Ger), James Nitties (Aus), Bob Estes, Sean O'Hair, Y.E. Yang (Kor), Stephen Ames (Can), Brendon De Jonge, Chris Stroud, Adam Scott (Aus), Zach Johnson, John Merrick, Lucas Glover, John Senden (Aus), Greg Chalmers (Aus), Lee Janzen, Angel Cabrera (Arg), Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Charlie Wi (Kor), Camilo Villegas (Col)
71 Spencer Levin, David Toms, Harrison Frazar, Ben Curtis, James Driscoll, Nick O'Hern (Aus), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Robert Karlsson (Swe), Roland Thatcher, Jimmy Walker, Bryce Molder, Kris Blanks, Pat Perez, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa), Steve Flesch, Bubba Watson, Mark Wilson, Derek Lamely, Kevin Na, Dustin Johnson, Trevor Immelman (Rsa), Cameron Beckman, Scott Verplank, Jay Haas, Troy Merritt
72 Vaughn Taylor, Jeff Quinney, Geoff Ogilvy (Aus), Nathan Green (Aus), Justin Leonard, Brett Quigley, Justin Rose (Eng), Mike Weir (Can), Brian Davis (Eng), Rory Sabbatini (Rsa), Graeme McDowell (NIrl), Fred Funk, Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Aaron Baddeley (Aus), Mathew Goggin (Aus), Ian Poulter (Eng), D.J. Trahan
73 Greg Owen (Eng), Rory McIlroy (NIrl), Steve Marino, Ryan Palmer, Rickie Fowler, Nicholas Thompson, Jerry Kelly, Jason Dufner, Michael Bradley, Ted Purdy, Stewart Cink, Ricky Barnes, D.A. Points, Mark Calcavecchia, Paul Casey (Eng), Jonathan Byrd, Brandt Snedeker, Padraig Harrington (Irl)
74 Rodney Pampling (Aus), J.P. Hayes, Kevin Sutherland, Chris Couch, Matt Bettencourt, Jason Day (Aus), Webb Simpson, Michael Allen, Marc Leishman (Aus), Ernie Els (Rsa), Martin Laird (Sco), Briny Baird
75 Michael Letzig, Jeff Klauk, George McNeill, Chad Campbell, Chad Collins, Tim Petrovic, Kevin Streelman
76 Richard S Johnson (Swe), Scott Piercy, John Mallinger, Charles Howell III
78 Daniel Chopra (Swe)

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