Thursday, June 16, 2005

U.S. Open Golf - Top 10

The top 10 spots on the leaderboard after today's first round of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst course 2, Pinehurst, North Carolina.

1. Browne, Olin -3 67
1. Mediate, Rocco -3 67
3. Goosen, Retief -2 68
3. Jobe, Brandt -2 68
3. Westwood, Lee -2 68
6. Choi, K.J. -1 69
6. Donald, Luke -1 69
6. Jones, Steve -1 69
6. Mickelson, Phil -1 69
10. Armour III, Tommy E 70
10. Estes, Bob E 70
10. Scott, Adam E 70
10. Singh, Vijay E 70
10. Taniguchi, Toru E 70
10. Toms, David E 70
10. Woods, Tiger E 70

Woods started on No. 10 and promptly birdied it but things didn't continue in that vein for him. He had back to back bogies on 15 and 16 and finally birdied no. 4, his 13th hole of the day, to pull back to even. He missed 8 fairways, hit a tree, muffed a pitch (I did that once) and just managed to avoid losing a ball while spraying shots all over the course.

It is a measure of his greatness that he can play so badly and still shoot par and be within two shots of the lead. If I missed 8 fairways and sprayed shots all over the course, I'd shoot a 110.

On the 3rd hole, his 12th of the day, Woods hit a tree but the ball bounded towards the green, ending up in deep rough. He muffed the pitch but just barely cleared the bunker onto the green from where he two putted for par. Yawn.

On the next hole, the par five 4th, he hit his drive so far left that it frightened members of the gallery when the ball rocketed over their heads. He dug the next shot out of deep rough but into a greenside bunker. He pitched out of the bunker to within one foot for a tap-in birdie. Yawn.

In a space of 4 holes he missed 4 fairways, hit the tree, muffed the pitch, was in a bunker and finished the stretch at -1. Yawn.

The scary thing about Woods is that the other players know that if he plays badly and they do not put distance between themselves, if and when he gets it together he is gone. The other players missed a great opportunity today and Woods is stingy with those.

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