Day One at the 2011 PGA Championship turned out to be nothing short of what one would expect from one of golfs major tournaments.
If you missed my earlier post, you can catch all the action online and with your Iphone/Ipad. One thing I’ve noticed with the app on the Ipad, it doesn’t realign it’s self if the Ipad is propped up horizontally. It sucks, but hey, it’s free, so I’m not going to gripe about it.
Tiger Woods started the day on the 10th tee and had a really solid start, going Birdie, Par, Birdie, Par, Birdie, putting him one off the lead at 3-under, but when he came up to the dreaded 15-18th his game took a turn for the worst. He finished the front nine with double bogey, bogey, par, and double bogey making the with a 2-over.
On the front nine he didn’t fare much better, coupling three birdies with two double bogeys and a bogey finishing the first round of the 2011 PGA Championship with a +7 putting him WELL below the project cut line.
During the post round media visit Tiger said “I was having mechanical thoughts and got to 3 under, I felt as though I was feeling it and thought I could let it go, and it screwed up my round.” When queried on what he meant about “letting go” Woods mentioned, “My shots don’t shape like they used to. I don’t shape the ball as much. I went ahead and, as I said, just played by feel and I just hit it, aimed too far right and it didn’t move. And a lot of fades out there did the same thing. I aimed left for a fade and it doesn’t move; it moves about a yard or two and I’m used to having it cut a lot more than that. And my draw used to move a lot than that as well.”
Tiger doesn’t seem too shaken by the day, but I can’t help but get a sense of foreboding after observing his play today. But, at the same time, this is Tiger Woods we’re talking about, winner of 14 majors and holder of four PGA Championships, if anyone can do it he can.. or at least, could have..
2011 U.S. Open Champion Rory McIlroy ran aground early on in the tournament when an errant tee shot on the 3rd hole resulted in his ball resting against a 2-inch wide tree stump. Rather than take the safe play and punch it out, he decided to attack the flag with a 7-iron. The result sent the club flying one way and the ball flying the other way and Rory left with a strained tendon in his right wrist.
“It was dangerous,” McIlroy conceded. “I think the tree was maybe a foot in front of the ball, and thought if I could make contact with the ball and just let the club go, I might get away with it. … It would have been better to chip out sideways. I still made 5.”
In a (dare-i-say?) “Tiger Woods” fashion, he decided to play on. “It’s the last major of the year,” he said. “I’ve got, what, six or seven months to the Masters. So I might as well try and play through the pain and get it over and done with.”
After getting the wrist checked and taped, Rory sucked it up, played through the pain and managed to finish the first round of the PGA Championship even par.
Steve Stricker shot a ridiculous 7-under, 63, during the first round of the 2011 PGA Championship, becoming the 11th player to ever shoot this score in championship history.
Only when his birdie putt for a 62 slide by the cup did caddie, Jimmy Johnson, tell him that it was for the record.
“It never really registered,” Stricker said. “I was just trying to make a birdie and finish 8 under, and I really was concentrating on the putt, but never thought about the history part of it.”
He is arguably the most consistent player on the PGA Tour winning twice in 2011, finishing in the top 20 at all three majors, and he’s not missed a cut since 2009. He’s been given the title “Best Player to Never Win a Major” but if he keeps up the momentum, that honor will have to be bestowed upon another.
With not a bogey on the score card, he managed seven birdies during the first round with only 24 putts recorded.