PARAMUS NJ - AUGUST 26: Tiger Woods reacts after he made a birdie on the seventh hole during the first round of The Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club on August 26 2010 in Paramus New Jersey. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Is He Back? Tiger Woods Co-Leader At 2010 Barclays With 6-Under 65 First Round

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The 2010 Barclays: Tiger Woods Back On Top Of The Golf World With 6-Under 65, Shares First Round Lead With Vaughn Taylor

For one day at least, order has been restored to the golf universe: Tiger Woods is atop the leader board of a significant tournament.

Taking advantage of the receptive fairways and greens at the damp Ridgestone Country Club, Woods fired a 6-under 65, good for a share of the lead alongside Vaughn Taylor. Woods got off to a particularly hot start after birdieing four of the first seven holes, before slowing down a bit. Woods finished with a flurry, however, playing the final fives holes at 3-under. Interestingly, Woods did all of his damage despite hardly touching his driver; instead he used his fairway woods and irons off the tees, resulting in few missed fairways and a handful of birdie opportunities. It was Woods' best single round since returning to golf last April.

Taylor, meanwhile, got off to a slow start after playing the first three holes at 1-over, including a miserable bogey on the par-three third hole, before playing the rest of his round bogey-free. Taylor's seven birdies brought him to 6-under and tied for the lead with Woods, a shot ahead of Ryan Palmer and Brian Gay.

Phil Mickelson, currently in fourth place in the FedEx Cup standings, is even on the day through five holes.

Among other notables, FedEx Cup leaders Ernie Els and Steve Stricker finished at even and 1-under respectively. While the pair are a good bit off the lead and have to be disappointed given how mild the conditions were on Thursday, it's still much better than Jim Furyk, who was disqualified from the tournament after sleeping in and missing his tee time for the Barclay's pro-am event by one minute on Wednesday. Furyk is currently in third place overall in the FedEx Cup standings, though he's expected to fall to the 7-10 range after the Barclays.

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Tiger Woods Leading 2010 Barclays With 5-Under First Round, Tied With Ryan Palmer, Others

Maybe finalizing his divorce was just what Tiger Woods needed to get the focus off his personal life and back to his golf game. Because Woods has put on a vintage display so far at the first round of the Barclays at Ridgestone. Indeed, with the fairways damp and the wind minimal, the course is ripe for low-scoring, and Woods has certainly obliged.

Teeing off in the first group due to being so far down the FedEx Cup standings, Woods has capitalized on the easy conditions at Ridgestone with a scorching first round of 5-under through 16 holes, good for a share of the lead with Ryan Palmer, Josh Teater and Brian Gay.

Even more impressively, Woods has done this almost without taking his driver out of the bag, eschewing it for his fairway woods and irons off the tees. The result has been few missed fairways, more greens in regulation and a slew of birdies. Woods started off his round particularly hot, birdieing four of his first seven holes, before cooling off a bit on the back nine.

Woods began the day in 113th place in the cumulative FedEx Cup standings due to his disastrous near-last place finish at the Bridgestone Invitational. Woods needs to move up to at least 100th in the current standings to qualify for Deutsche Bank Championship, and another 30 spots after that to make the BMW Championship field. Of course, winning the Barclays would certainly catapult Woods up the standings and erase the chance that he wouldn't advance in golf's playoffs.

Ryan Palmer got off to an absolutely unconscious start, recording birdies on the first five holes. Two pars sandwiched around two more birdies brought Palmer to 7-under on just the back nine, before he gave away his lead with a double-bogey on the tenth hole.

Meanwhile, Josh Teater and Brian Gay have made it a quartet of golfers at the top of the leaderboard, after their own hot starts. Teater began the day to 3-under at the turn (courtesy of five birdies and a pair of bogeys), and another duo of birdies along with a handful of pars has gotten him to 5-under through 16 holes. Gay began his day on the tenth hole, recording four birdies on the seemingly tougher back nine. After birdieing the first hole, Gay is 5-under through 10 holes, in one of the lone bogey-free rounds on the day.

For more on Woods and the Barclays, check out our golf blog, Waggle Room.

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Jim Furyk Disqualified From Barclays After Sleeping In, Missing Tee Time

Jim Furyk learned a lesson we would all do well to remember: always re-charge your cell phone. Always. And especially if you use it as your alarm clock.

Furyk was disqualified from the Barclays this week after sleeping in and missing his tee time for the event's Pro-Am event on Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News. Furyk's excuse? He slept in after his cell phone, which he uses as an alarm clock, ran out of power and for some reason didn't re-charge.

Via Waggle Room comes this statement from Furyk about his disqualification:

I overslept. I always use my phone as an alarm and it had no power this morning. I don’t know if something happened with the charger or what but I never got it. I woke up at 7:23 and tore out of there, put a pair of pants on and shirt … I have no belt or socks and my shoes aren’t tied yet. I actually got into the locker room at 7:35, but I guess I had to be on the tee. But when I got done with Slugger (White) in the area at 7:35 and I had to be on the tee … which it wasn’t a one-tee start today, so I had to be on No. 11 by 7:35. There was no way to get there.

Furyk is currently in third-place in the FedEx Cup standings, of which the Barclays is one of the events. Missing the event will drop him at most down to 19th place in the cumulative standings, and more likely to the 7-10 range. Considering the generous $10 million payout to the FedEx Cup winner, it's a shame to see one of the top contenders dropped because he was one minute late for a Pro-Am event.

Alas, the rules of golf can certainly be frustrating at times.

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