The morning wave of players is briskly moving through the opening round at Firestone, where most of the field, including Tiger Woods, is under par at the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Woods started on the back nine at Firestone South, hitting his driver on multiple occasions and generally keeping it in the ballpark from tee to green. But Tiger missed some chances up on the green, getting sloppy with a chip at No. 11 and burning several edges on birdie putts.
Woods did send his driver off the fairway at No. 16, one of the longest par-5s in the world. The hole is well over 600 yards, sometimes playing closer to 650, but it slopes downhill significantly. Tiger, however, sent his drive into one of the fairway bunkers and could never recover, carding bogey to drop to even-par.
Tiger made the turn at even, but was quickly back in the red with a birdie on the first hole at the South Course. Woods stuck his approach shot on No. 1, cleaning up a birdie putt from about five feet. The second hole is a getabble par-5, almost a must-make birdie for Woods, who always goes low on the par-5s here for the most common route to his seven past wins. His drive at the second was slightly off the fairway and his second shot was just barely on the front of the green. He misfired once again with the putter, hitting a bad lag eagle roll and three-putting for a disappointing par. The bogey at No. 16 and the par at No. 2, the only par-5s at Firestone, could have Woods muttering to himself the rest of the day.
At 1-under, Tiger is now four shots back of Henrik Stenson. The Swede has found his game after a brutal stretch off the radar, finishing well at some of this year's biggest events. He was in the hunt on Sunday at The Players and finished as runner-up last month to Phil at the British, so it's no surprise to see him going low. He has one WGC victory on his resume, but that was before his dramatic drop-off.
Webb Simpson, who's had somewhat of a quiet season, is several holes behind Stenson but has matched him for the lead at 5-under. Simpson still has the par-5 second ahead of him, and he's the most likely candidate to post the lowest morning number. Here's the leaderboard so far from the morning session:
|T12||Miguel A. Jimenez||E|
|T29||Jaco Van Zyl||2|
|T29||Bo Van Pelt||2|
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