Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tiger and K.J. watch
For those of you who are about to give up on Tiger, please don't.
Yes, he's tied for 96th after the first round of the Buick Open, eight strokes off leader Steve Lowery.
"Guys are only going to continue to go low. That's the way this golf course is playing right now this week. It's going to be 20-plus probably to win the tournament," Tiger said after shooting a 1 under par 71.
Yes, he missed several putts that he normally makes.
"Probably one of the worst putting days I've ever had," Tiger said. "Just didn't hit any."
And no, he's not playing like Tiger.
"I was playing good yesterday (in the Pro-Am), playing good today starting out, when I was warming up, got on the greens today, and it was just terrible," he said.
But this is Tiger Woods, the No. 1 player in the world. And what's good about that - besides the obvious - is that he's a well-liked winner. The crowds grow significantly when he's in the field. He's not like teams you love to hate because they win so much or used to win so much, ie Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers.
"Anytime you get Tiger to your tournament, you should thank Tiger for coming," said Tom Pernice, who finished tied for 13th at 5 under. "It looks like Tiger stepped up to the plate, did what he needed to do to really help out Buick and the community here.
"So I thought it was a great thing, and it adds excitement anytime Tiger is in the field."
Right now, it's anyone's tournament - including Tiger's. He's got three more days to make up eight strokes.
"I'm going to have to take advantage of the holes you're supposed to take advantage of, par 5s, couple of short par 4s," Tiger said. "I'll handle those and sprinkle a few more here or there, and I'll come up with the number I need to come up with."
He's never lacked confidence.
And as far as my new favorite player, K.J. Choi, he's at 2 under, tied for 70th. Now I can't go into all the quotes and reasons why Choi still is in it. But I can root for him.
Photos courtesy of PGA and PGA Tour