Wednesday, February 25, 2009
One of my favorite open threads was the Tiger Woods-Rocco Mediate open thread during the 2008 U.S. Open last year. I spent a day chronicling the playoff between the two, and had a blast doing so. I'm going to try and do a little of that today during Tiger's round, and if you want to follow along, you're more than welcome to do so. Woods is teeing off in about twenty, and I'll give you a hole-by-hole recap, as well as some video when it's warranted.
It's Tiger, It's Brendan Jones, and it's on the Golf Channel....NEXT!
Mark Rolfing says that Tiger looked brilliant in his warmup, but that he didn't seem to be swinging too hard. Brendan Jones is in for a heck of a round today. Here are some of the notable winners from earlier....
Lee Westwood, Camillo Villegs, Anthony Kim, Oliver Wilson (over KJ Choi)
Tiger is walking to the tee, and getting his potassium in with a quick banana before his round. He and Brendan Jones are waiting for another match, that went into OT, to move out of the first fairway. Tiger is up first and he hits his first shot, a 3-wood, in the fairway down the right hand side. Jones follows with a good strike as well that just scoots through the fairway into the left side rough. And we're underway!!!
Tiger is away and sticks his shot within 10 feet of the pin. Man, the guy is a machine. Jones has a downhill lie, and will be trying to hit it on the right of the green and run it towards the hole (same thing Tiger did). He's short and in the left, front bunker.
Nice out by Jones and his bunker shot skips past the hole, but within Tiger's distance. Tiger with about a six footer.....Drains It! Welcome back.
Woods 1 up thru 1
We've got a Par 5 for hole two, and it's 574 yards. Tiger with another shot in the fairway, and Jones follows with another drive in the rough. It should be okay though. Quick flip over to Phil Mickelson, and he smashes a drives through a Par 3 and into the gallery. Good one, Phil.
Jones with 252 to go....down the middle but short of the green. Tiger with 238 to go, but a difficult angle. WOW!!!! It's another shot within 10 feet of the hole. Perfect play, and he'll have an eagle attempt to go up 2 holes on Jones.
Jones within 12 feet after a chip, and he misses. Tiger won't even have to putt on this hole.
Woods 2 up thru 2
Third up is a 205 yard Par 3, and Tiger has the honor. And there's his first bad shot of the day. It hits the fringe and bounces into the right side bunker. Jones is long, but right on the edge of the green. The two halve the hole and we're off to number four.
Woods 2 up thru 3
We've got a Par 4, and Tiger sends another shot in to the fairway down the right. Jones follows with a shot way way right, and it's not a good start for him today. Jones is in the desert, and is out down the fairway. Woods' second is on the green about 30 feet or so away from the pin. Oh, and Cabrera has squared his match with Mickelson going to the 18th.
Jones' third shot is a nice one, and pitches it within five feet or so, and has a chance to split another hole. Tiger leaves his first long putt a bit short, and the two will push the 4th.
Woods 2 up thru 4
Aaron Baddeley goes down to Paul Casey, and it looks like Mickelson might hold on against Cabrera. Jones and Woods both go right off the tee into the rough. Jones follows it with a dribbler down the fairway, and Woods ends up in the green side bunker.
"He's (Mickelson) got humps and bumps everywhere."- Roger Maltby
Well that's not a nice thing to say, Roger! It was said about his long putt, but it could certainly be taken another way. Cabrera has a 10-footer to extend the match, and he misses. He makes it, and this match with Mickelson will head into extra innings, after Phil gave up four straight holes leading into the 18th.
Jones shoot well past the green, and with a good chip, Tiger can take another hole. He chips out of the sand to about 12 feet or so. He'll likely have that to go 3 up. Jones flops it onto the green, Tiger misses his putt, and Brendan will have to hit a long putt to halve it. He finally makes a good stroke and they split another.
Woods 2 up thru five
Six is a Par 3, and Tiger is still away. He hits it dead center right in the middle of the green a little ways past the hole. Jones follows with a shot within 10 feet of the hole, and he'll have a chance to get one back. Woods narrowly misses his putt and will finish the hole with a par. Jones misses his opportunity and Tiger lets him pick it up for the push.
Woods 2 up thru six
Par 4, 463, and Woods has another FIR on the day. Phil wins his match and will be moving to face Zach Johnson who won his match as well. Jones is back in the rough. Tiger has 159, up hill, and leaves it short. The ball rolls way back down the hill and he'll have a tough chip for his third. Jones' second has a left to right, lie in the rough, and sticks it within 20 feet. That'll give him another chance at a hole.
Tiger chips it past Jones' ball and leaves himself a tough putt. He leaves it short and Jones has two chances to go back to only 1 down. Jones puts it within a foot and finally takes a hole.
Woods 1up thru seven
Jones is up first on the Par 4 8th, and his tee shot ends up either in the fairway bunker or right beside. Tiger destroys his shot right down the center. Great swing there. Jones hits a fairway wood from the low rough, and that shot rolls off the green. Tiger with a pretty straightforward second shot from 258 away....and he nails it into the rough on the right of the green.
Both chip it on, with Tiger about five feet closer, and Jones will have a much tougher line to split the hole. BJ misses his 13-footer, and Woods will have about an 8-footer to move back to 2 up.
Tiger drains it, and we're going to the ninth after he gets the hole back he lost.
Woods 2 up thru eight
Woods and Jones both end up in the fairway, and Woods' second shot from 150 hangs onto the green on the right side. 23 feet away on the putt, and Tiger leaves it waaaay short. Not a good stroke at all. Jones putts out, and Tiger will have a tough one to stay at 2 up. He drops it, and we're at the turn.
Woods 2 up thru nine
The first hole after the turn is a Par 4 at 450, and Tiger pulls it a bit left onto the fringe of the fairway. The Golf Channel is now skipping Jones' tee shots, but I think he's over there with Tiger. Tiger's second hits the green, but rolls off.
Jones was actually closer to the pin than Tiger, and chips it right up near the hole. He's trying to hang around. Woods leaves it short, and Jones has a six-footer to get back to 1 down. He promptly misses, and Tiger now has the line to stay at 2 up. He's got it, and we're onto the 11th.
Woods 2 up thru ten
Here's the huge Par Five on the course, and Tiger hits his tee shot....well we can't really see where it goes. Great job by the Golf Network cameras there. Okay, it was apparently in a fairway bunker, and he'll lay up his second shot into the fairway. Jones is in the fairway and hits another straight shot down the middle. He could be up if he could have just sunk a few early putts.
Woods' third is about 260 into the wind, and he's hitting a 3-wood. Nope, scratch that. Steve Williams talks him into a five, and he skips it up onto the green, but a good distance from the hole. Jones' chip ends up past the green in the rough, and he lets Tiger off the hook once again.
Woods just misses his putt, and Jones follows with a nice chip to leave him a short distance for a halve. He gets it.
Woods 2 up thru eleven
Another short, but tough, Par 3. The wind is picking up in Arizona as well. Woods is away, and his shot starts right and stays right. Holds up on the fringe though. Jones lines up his tee shot, and hits another shot long past the hole. In fact he's actually right up against a wall. Not good.
Jones' ball didn't quite make it to that wall, but he's got a tough down hill chip to get it close. Annnnnd....he hits it about four feet back into the rough. That should be another hole for Tiger.
He puts a nice chip to about two feet, and will go up three with six to go.
Woods Up 3 thru twelve
Another Par 5, and another shot heading right by Tiger. It holds up in the short stuff though, and he'll be okay. Jones' drives his ball well past Tiger's and is smack dab in the middle of the fairway. Woods' second shot....Wow! Just drills an iron a million feet into the air, and it comes down on the green and just slides past the hole and onto the fringe. He struck that one just about perfect. Jones follows that with a similar look but his roll takes him into the bunker.
BJ almost holes it out of the bunker, but Tiger still has an Eagle putt from the edge of the green. NAILS IT! This one could be over soon.
Woods 4 up with 5 to go
Tiger finally gets his drive back into the fairway, and Jones follows that excellent shot with a slice onto another hole. That could be it, folks. Tiger's second is 168 into the wind, and he hits yet another green in regulation as his ball stops above the hole about 40 feet away.
Jones is in the middle of nowhere and will have a tough shot at hitting the green.....and he somehow makes it on! The ball hit the edge of a bunker, and sprinted back onto the back of the green. Both have ridiculously long birdie putts.
Jones takes a run at it, but his ball goes well past the hole. Tiger can end it end it here.....great putt, but it's just right. Jones has a seven footer to keep the match alive. He drops it and we're onto the fifteenth.
Woods 4 up with 4 to play
Woods is away on this short Par 4, and he has a shot to drive the green with a good strike. They're waiting for a previous pairing to finish up the hole first though. After a long wait, Tiger's finally ready to go with his 3-wood. And he's on the front of the green. Great shot.
Jones tee shot is even better though. He almost holes it! It draws back to the hole and is only about 10 feet away. He's trying to make it interesting. Tiger leaves it short, and Jones has a chance to extend it.
He drains it! Great putt, and he's down three with three to go.
Woods 3 up thru 15
The sixteenth is another Par 3, and Brendan Jones has the honor. He'll need a birdie here to get to seventeen. Jones drops it within about 25-feet, and Tiger's up. He steps away a few times as the wind picks up, but is ready to go now.....AND HE'S IN THE BUNKER!
Actually it's a pretty good lie, so he might be okay. He's actually closer to the pin than Jones. Here's his shot, and......he puts it within two feet. Jones has to hit another birdie to move on. And he just misses....Tiger takes his first round match 3 and 2.