Starting his round at the 10th tee at Spyglass Hill, Tiger Woods birdied his first hole in Thursday's opening round.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Tiger Woods made his 2012 PGA TOUR debut in Thursday’s first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He shot a 4-under 68 on the par-72 Spyglass Hill course with his amateur playing partner, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
Brian Wacker of PGATOUR.COM was on the scene and following Tiger’s round; Fred Albers was also inside the ropes for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. Here’s the exclusive online hole-by-hole coverage as it happened.
7:30 p.m. – Tiger summing up his round and position on leaderboard: “This is the harder of the three (courses). Hopefully next two days I can get it going.”
7:10 p.m. – Tiger Woods is five shots off the lead, but if you look at just the players who played at Spyglass Hill in Thursday’s first round, he’s in much better shape.
SPYGLASS HILL LEADERBOARD
|Player||Round 1 score at Spyglass||Position on leaderboard|
|Nick Watney||6-under 66||Tied for 6th|
|Kevin Na||6-under 66||Tied for 6th|
|Bob Estes||5-under 67||Tied for 10th|
|Tiger Woods||4-under 68||Tied for 15th|
|Russell Knox||4-under 68||Tied for 15th|
|Sang-Moon Bae||4-under 68||Tied for 15th|
|Greg Owen||4-under 68||Tied for 15th|
7 p.m. – Sir Nick Faldo on the Golf Channel, discussing Tiger’s round: “All in all, I should think he’s pretty pleased with it.”
6:49 p.m. – The statistics indicate that Tiger had a good ball-striking round. He hit 11 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation in shooting a 4-under 68 that included six birdies (three on par 5s) and two bogeys. His average driving distance was 312 yards. Tiger needed 29 putts for his round.
6:46 p.m. -- At the par-4 ninth, Tiger’s closing hole, he found the fairway with his drive. His approach shot finds the green, 18 feet from the pin. Tiger missed the birdie putt and was angry with himself, hitting his leg with his hand. He had to settle for par, finishing his opening round with a 4-under 68, leaving him five shots off the lead. Playing partner Romo had a chance at a birdie but missed a 5-footer. For the Pro-Am, the team of Woods-Romo shot a 7-under 65, leaving the twosome six shots off the Pro-Am lead. ( Tiger: 4 under 68)
6:25p.m. – At the par-4 eighth, one of the hardest holes on the course, Tiger hit his tee shot up right side of the fairway. His second shot found the green but about 40 feet away from the pin. Putting up the slope, he ran his birdie putt to within four feet of the pin and holed the putt to save par. Meanwhile, playing partner Romo just missed a birdie putt from 12 feet. One more hole left in his opening round. ( Tiger: 4 under through 17).
6:06 p.m. – Tiger’s tee shot found the fairway at the par-5 seventh. He went for the green with his second shot, which nearly ended up in water but hung up on the bank. He then chipped up to 15 feet and rolled in the birdie putt. That’s his third birdie out of the four par-5 holes at Spyglass Hill. ( Tiger: 4 under through 16)
5:45 p.m. – Tiger has yet to bounce back and regain the stroke lost from that bogey at the fourth. He parred the par-4 sixth, although he did in impressive fashion, making a lengthy putt to save par. ( Tiger: 3 under through 15)
5:40 p.m – In terms of Pro-Am standings ( click here ), the team of Woods/Romo are 6 under. Given that Tiger is 3 under, that means Romo has contributed half of their total. And since Romo is playing as a scratch golfer, he doesn’t get the benefit of handicap holes. “Good for Tony Romo, who has a nice long off-season in front of him,” said PGA TOUR Radio’s John Maginnes.
5:28 p.m. – Brian Wacker reports: “As Tiger rolled his lengthy birdie putt on the par-3 fifth -- it was well left of the hole -- he muttered ‘Get in’ sarcastically before tapping in for par. The fans didn't seem as discouraged with one of them yelling out for Tiger to ‘Win this thing, win it.’ Woods acknowledged it with a little nod.” ( Tiger: 3 under through 14)
5:07 p.m. – Brian Wacker reports: “Tony Romo smashed a drive on the short par-4 fourth hole that drew a ‘Tony!’ from one member of the crowd. It also got some cackling from Tiger because Romo would’ve reached the green if his ball had just kicked off the hill it landed on. Tiger's been loose and jovial with his playing partners all day and there have been a lot of jokes and laughs back and forth.”
5:05 p.m. – At the par-4 fourth, Tiger used iron off the tee and found the middle of the fairway. But his approach shot sailed over the flagstick and wound up in the waste area behind the green. He failed to get up-and-down for par. The bogey derails his momentum. Will he get it back as he comes to his closing holes? ( Tiger: 3 under through 13)
4:59 p.m. – Just two players have a better score than Tiger Woods thus far on Spyglass Hill – and both of those players have finished their rounds. Nick Watney shot a 6-under 66 and Bob Estes shot a 5-under 67. Tiger is among several players at 4 under on Spyglass Hill, which is considered the toughest of the three courses in the rotation.
4:48 p.m. – At the par-3 third, Tiger’s tee shot finds the green but outside 25 feet from the pin. No problem – he rolls in the lengthy birdie putt. He’s now four shots off the lead. ( Tiger: 4 under through 12)
4:38 p.m. – Fred Albers on Tiger’s performance thus far on the tee box: “He’s consistently hit cutters off the tee. … He has control of the golf ball.”
4:36 p.m. – At the par-4 second, Tiger’s approach shot with a wedge landed in the fringe on the back of the green. He opted for putter from there but his putt steamed five feet by the hole. Tiger rolled in the putt to save par. ( Tiger: 3 under through 11)
4:17 p.m. – Brian Wacker reports: “Tony Romo had a similar shot to that of Tiger on No. 1, but his flop rolled well past the hole. No matter. He drained a long birdie putt from the edge of the green that veered left into the hole, with Romo raising his right fist in the air as it dropped and the crowd roared.”
4:17 p.m. – At the par-5 first, Tiger’s drive caught a portion of the fairway, giving him a chance to go for the green in two at the downhill hole. But his second shot comes in low, hits the green and fails to hold the putting surface. He hit a big flop shot coming back – Fred Albers called it a “super flop” –- that rolled by the hole, leaving him a 10-footer comeback for birdie, which he rolled in. Tiger’s now five shots off the lead held by Ken Duke. ( Tiger: 3 under through 10)
4 p.m. – Tiger hitting 75 percent of his fairways and 77.8 percent of his greens in regulation thus far.
3:56 p.m. – With Tiger making the turn, he’ll now spend the next few holes at Spyglass Hill playing next to the Pacific ocean, as the course turns toward the water. By the way, nine players on Spyglass Hill have better scores thus far than Tiger.
3:55 p.m. – Tiger highlight just posted on PGATOUR.COM. Watch his birdie on the 11th hole. Click here
3:47 p.m. -- Using wedge from 129 yards, Tiger’s approach shot at the par-4 18th flew over the top of the flagstick and landed just off the green. He opts to chip for birdie and leaves himself a short putt to save par. He’ll make the turn five shots off the lead. Partner Tony Romo two-putted for par from 30 feet. ( Tiger: 2 under through 9)
3:30 p.m. – At the par-4 17th, Tiger’s drive landed in the fairway. His approach shot landed past the hole and spun back to within 10 feet. He rolled in the birdie putt – it’s his first birdie since the 11th hole. Partner Tony Romo hit a long drive, but followed with a poor wedge for his second shot and settled for a disappointing par. ( Tiger: 2 under through 8)
3:15 p.m. – At what Fred Albers called one of the most difficult par-4s in the tournament, Tiger Woods hits a drive down the middle of the fairway at the par-4 16th. He then follows with an approach shot to 20 feet, but can’t convert the birdie putt. as it lipped out. “Another big groan from the gallery,” reports Brian Wacker. Tiger has to settle for par. Meanwhile, Tony Romo hit into the trees with his opening drive, had to pitch out and suffered a double bogey. ( Tiger: 1 under through 7 )
3:02 p.m. – Brian Wacker reports: “Overheard inside the ropes: Tony Romo and Tiger's caddie Joe LaCava talking football. LaCava is a die-hard Giants fan and Romo plays quarterback for the Cowboys. LaCava's observation of the Cowboys: Romo doesn't have enough talent around him. Not enough depth.”
2:50 p.m. – Golf World’s Ron Sirak just tweeted: “Good Tiger starts birdie-birdie at Spyglass; Bad Tiger plays next 3 holes +1. Following him is like following the stock market.”
2:48 p.m. – Tiger’s tee shot at the par-3 15th leaves him outside 25 feet for birdie. He missed the putt and settled for par. Romo also had a tap-in par after putting from the fringe. ( Tiger: 1 under through 6)
2:44 p.m. – Brian Wacker reports: “It's taco time on the 15th tee. That's what they're serving on the tee box. Tony Romo just devoured some carne asada.”
2:38 p.m. – Tiger’s third shot into the 14th landed just outside 15 feet, leaving him a birdie opportunity. But he missed the putt, forcing him to settle for par. Big groan from the crowd. He’s now six shots off the pace currently set by Nick Watney, who’s also playing Spyglass Hill. As for Romo? He birdied the hole. That’s now two consecutive holes he has provided the better score for his team. Romo is playing as a scratch golfer this week. ( Tiger: 1 under through 5)
2:30 p.m. -- Brian Wacker reports: “Heard from inside the ropes in Tiger's group: ‘It's 4th down and the Cowboys are going for it.’ That was in reference to Tony Romo, who went for the green in two at the par-5 14th, despite water right and bunkers left and no room for error. Romo landed safely, although just short of the green.”
2:25 p.m. -- Brian Wacker reports: “Tiger’s certainly upset after hitting his tee shot left for the second straight hole, this time at the par-5 14th. The shot left him in the rough. According to his coach Sean Foley, Tiger's miss is now left, which he feels is more correctable than when he used to miss right or worse yet both directions.”
2:18 p.m. – After laying up with his second shot, Tiger’s third shot ended 10 feet above the cup. Romo – using a belly putter, by the way – had a 35-foot birdie putt. Romo’s putt left him with a short par putt. Woods missed his par putt from 10 feet, as he suffered his first bogey of the round. Romo saved his team with par. ( Tiger: 1 under through 4)
1:59 p.m. – At the par-3 12th, Tiger’s tee shot landed inside 20 feet. Meanwhile, Romo’s tee shot finished off the green, getting hung up in the grass that prevented it from slipping into the water hazard. Romo’s chip for birdie was not close. Said PGA TOUR Radio’s John Maginnes: “So far, Tony hasn’t needed to get out of the cart.” Tiger’s birdie attempt, a downhiller from right to left, just slipped past the hole, leaving him an easy tap-in for par. ( Tiger: 2 under through 3)
1:45 p.m. – At the par-5 11th, Tiger hit a perfect drive, leaving him just 182 yards for his approach. Meanwhile, Romo also hit a big drive. Tiger, playing a draw with his approach shot, hit an effective shot that left him 14 feet for an eagle putt. Romo lost his approach shot to the right and found the greenside bunker. Tiger’s eagle putt just grazed the cup, leaving him a tap-in for birdie. ( Tiger: 2 under through 2)
1:36 p.m. – Brian Wacker reports: "One interested observer among the masses: Tiger's coach Sean Foley. One fan just came up to him and said Tiger's hitting it ‘10 times better’ than when he saw him at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship a year ago. Foley agreed. The putter is also starting to come around for Woods, who's been able to put in more reps now that he understands Foley's swing changes better. He didn't need it much on the 10th hole, though, after stuffing it to 3 feet for an easy birdie.”
1:26 p.m. -- With an uphill lie, Tiger’s approach shot with a wedge at his first hole, the par-4 10th, rattled off the flagstick and ended 3 feet from the pin. Meanwhile, Romo’s approach landed in the front bunker, prompting PGA TOUR Network’s Fred Albers to playfully call it “an amateur play.” Tiger finished the hole by making the short birdie putt. ( Tiger: 1 under through 1 )
1:15 p.m. – Reports Brian Wacker: “Woods' celebrity partner is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. The two have played together a few times before and it didn't take long for them to start chatting it up down the fairway. Also here before Woods teed off was his swing coach Sean Foley, who seemed pretty confident with the way Woods was hitting it coming into today.”
1:08 p.m. – Tiger uses a 3-wood off the tee for his first drive on TOUR in 2012. Although his drive hangs out to the right, he finds the edge of the fairway. Arjun Atwal, the other TOUR member of the foursome, hit driver.
12:58 p.m. – Tiger’s tee time will be pushed back a few minutes due to slow play at Spyglass Hill. Expected to be less than a 10-minute delay. He was originally supposed to tee off at 1:01 p.m.
12:48 p.m. – Fred Albers reports that the gallery around the 10th tee box is “10 deep” with the Tiger/Romo group teeing off less than 15 minutes from now. Playing in the same group as Tiger is Arjun Atwal and amateur Danny Lane.
12:43 p.m. – Brian Wacker is following Tiger for PGATOUR.COM. He reports: “Getting around the Pebble Beach property can be tricky with its maze of roads and throngs of fans spread over three courses. Most of the attention this morning though is of course over at Spyglass Hill. Shuttle drivers, in fact, were lectured to be prepared early for the onslaught of media and other officials getting a ride over to the course. When Woods does tee off, he'll do so in ideal conditions. There's no wind and the skies bright with temperatures in the low 60s.”
12:38 p.m. – Fred Albers, reporting for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, will cover Tiger’s first round. He just reported that “conditions could not be any better” at Spyglass Hill and that “big galleries are out here.” He also noted that Tiger will begin his round on the 10th tee at Spyglass Hill, which “has a tree in the middle of the fairway.”