At 123rd on the money list, Woody Austin is one of those guys who could use a good finish here this week -- especially since he’s got four years to go until he turns 50 and is one spot out of the top 50 in career money for an exemption for next season.
Austin certainly got off to a good enough start, shooting 4-under 68 on the Palm Course that included three birdies, an eagle (on the par-5 seventh) and just one bogey.
“Smoke and mirrors,” Austin joked when asked about how he put together the good score. He was only half kidding, though, with fog having delayed the start of the round for an hour. Still, Austin was his usual self-deprecating self when assessing his play.
“I mean I'm not playing very well and I'm not confident,” said Austin, who has just one top-25 in six starts since early August. “I'm just really ‑‑ I'm really kind of just trying to scramble my way around, and I did a good job.”
One change that made a difference Thursday for Austin: He moved the ball up in his stance.
“I'm trying something on the golf course I never thought I'd try,” Austin said. “I moved the ball in my stance farther than I ever thought possible. I got through it today.”