After starting his first major championship with two straight bogeys, Tiger Woods is back at in the red and holding on in some perfect scoring conditions at the Open Championship. It was just the second time in his career that Tiger went bogey-bogey to begin a major, but he's now righted the ship on the back nine at Royal Liverpool.
Tiger's short game was shaky early, but the putter has settled down a bit and he's not given a shot away since those first two holes. He posted his first red number on the par-5 fifth, opportunities that he must grab at this venue. Woods played the par-5s in 14-under back when he won here in 2006, and that's always been his most reliable path to contention and victory. But after settling for a par at his second par-5, the 10th, Woods converted his second birdie of the day by rolling one in from off the 11th green. It was the first time we saw any positive reaction from Woods, who gave us a first pump after this bit of gravy.
Tiger would back that up with another red number on the next hole, stuffing his best approach shot inside 10 feet at the 12th green. That put him at 1-under for the championship and three back of a loaded group on top of the leaderboard.
Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, and Jim Furyk are just some of the big names sitting on top at 4-under. The conditions are absolutely perfect at Hoylake for the morning draw to post a low number. The sun is shining and the wind is down, and much of this first half the field has taken advantage. Royal Liverpool is the type of layout where a winning score can push 15 or 20-under, especially if conditions stay calm. The greens are relatively flat for an Open, and even if they're rolling pretty quick, it won't both the pros much at all.
Here's a current snapshot of the leaderboard:
|T20||Dawie Van Der Walt||-1||F|