by Jeff Skinner
Tiger Woods had a tough day on the greens. He needed 33 putts and finished with an even par 70, his second worst opening round score at Firestone. He finished his day by missing a two foot par putt at eighteen.
I know half the country is suffering from a drought but has it hit the fairways at Firestone? There were 58 drives over 350 yards and three over 400. Now that’s getting some roll.
Branden Grace cranked a drive one 427 yards. Unfortunately he was between clubs on his approach and opted to lay up. Then he overshot the green and could only manage a par. “Drive for show” never rang truer.
Ben Crane, who shot a 66, has been spending some time with Phil Mickelson on and off the course. Phil has been helping Crane with some of the mental aspects of the game. “He was calling himself the golf whisperer out there, helping me some with some shots and stuff,” Crane said. Now if Phil can just help himself.
If you think the firm fairways of Firestone aren’t making a difference in the way the game is played check this out. Luke Donald averages 275 yard off the tee this season on the PGA Tour. At Firestone he averaged 299. On tour Jim Furyk hits it 279. In his opening round he boomed it an average of 309 yards. That makes a difference in anyone’s game.
The Firestone Country Club water tower has been around so long it’s like part of the tour. It’s a much a part of the tour as the Hilton Head Lighthouse. Even though it is no longer in use I love the fact that they are keeping it around.