by Jeff Skinner
Even though they are separated by six strokes and one owns the outright lead it was still a successful day for both Adam Scott and Tiger Woods. The two golfers have been linked recently by the contentious defection of Steve Williams from Tiger’s bag to Scott’s.
It seems a bit ironic that Scott is in the lead and he did his best to steal the spotlight from Woods who is playing for the first time since The Players Championship.
Scott’s 62 was the lowest opening round in the history of The World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational but he missed tying the course record by a single stroke. Scott had a fine day at Firestone as he hit fifteen greens in regulation and needed only twenty five putts for his eight under par 62. “ I played extremely solid today. The first 15 holes, I struck the ball beautifully and drove it in the rough the last three holes. But other than that, I mean, everything was right in the spot where I wanted it. Conditions were perfect for scoring. There were so many good scores out here today. Probably not what we’re used to seeing around this course, so it was good to take advantage of that.”
As for Woods, while his score wasn’t as stellar as Scott’s he still has to consider his day a success. He completed eighteen holes of championship level golf and came out healthy. The last time he played he barely finished nine holes. Woods showed some rust but he looked solid physically and his putter was hot as he dropped three putts from over seventeen feet during his round of 68.
As usual it was Tiger’s driver that failed him, some things never change. He was bombing it an average of 315 yards but he could only manage to find five of fourteen fairways all day. Woods was content with his play afterwards. “The amount of progress I made in my golf swing, the amount of compression I had in the golf ball, the shots I was hitting. I was hitting proper shots out there, and the distances I was hitting the golf ball. I hadn’t hit the ball like this. This was fun, to be able to hit the ball with that much flush feeling through the golf ball and speed I had. It was pretty nice.”
Two of the characters in this Woods/Williams melodrama had successful opening rounds. If Tiger can pick it up and find a few more fairways, maybe Scott and Tiger will play together on the weekend. And Tiger would get to see Williams up close once again.