With most of the top players in the world of Professional Golf in attendance at The Honda Classic this weekend, there were some surprises for golf fans everywhere. The worlds number one and two players, Rory McIlroy, and Tiger Woods had mediocre starts in conditions that were soggy, but benign. The 10-20 mile an hour winds that were predicted didn’t arrive to make for a difficult afternoon. The PGA National Champions Golf Course, and specifically, the Bear Trap didn’t provide the drama throughout the afternoon that everyone expected.
The biggest surprise was of course, the presence of Camilo Villegas at the top of the leaderboard after spending the last 18 months in golf purgatory. ref [ Golf: Camilo Villegas Eagles 18 For Lead At The Honda Classic ].
Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy both shot even par, with Tiger getting out early, and Rory playing in the afternoon. Tiger Woods didn’t play badly,but just couldn’t get his putts to drop. He struggled with the speed and grain of the greens all day.
“I hit good putts,” Woods said. “I was getting fooled on the grain; some of it was snagging, some I would blow right through the top side.”
“The green speeds are a little bit faster than they were (Wednesday), but it’s an adjustment I need to make.”
On the website, www.pgatour.com, they called it a Jean Van de Velde moment, when Tiger donned his rain suit, and went into the water hazard at the sixth hole to hit his second shot. The ball was only half submerged, and he was able to pitch back to the fairway for his third shot. On a hole where Woods starred double bogey in the face, was able to pull off the shot, and made one of his few putts on the day for a par.
World number one, Rory McIlroy seemed to have his game going in the afternoon, but still suffers from getting his driver stuck, and hitting his drives to the right. The problem looks to be getting better, and with less frequency, but when it crops up, leaves him playing out of trouble, or the higher rough. With not being able to attack the flag, he is leaving himself putts that even the pros do not make on a regular basis.
He had a realistic chance to get to the clubhouse at two under on Thursday until he blew up on the 18th hole to take double bogey. The par five 18th hole played as the easiest on the course on day 1, and the youngster from Northern Ireland probably lost three strokes to the field. McIlroy plays early on Friday, and should get out before any winds come up.
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