Thursday's Birdies and Bogeys
Who were the winners and losers in the first round at TPC Sawgrass? It's time for a closer look with our first round edition of birdies and bogeys.
May 09, 2012
Birdie: Ian PoulterAfter going two years doing little of note on the PGA Tour, the Englishman has found the groove of late. On the heels of a third-place finish at Bay Hill and a seventh at Augusta National, Poulter carried that momentum over to Thursday. He shot six under over his final 10 holes to card an opening 65 and grab a share of the lead with Martin Laird after Day 1.
Bogey: Angel CabreraAs in, a sextuple bogey. On a day when very few players missed TPC Sawgrass' famed island green, "The Duck" managed to find the water three times. What was more stunning is that none of his first three attempts were even close. Despite playing the 17 holes other than No. 17 in even par, Cabrera's niner gave him an opening 78. He withdrew following the round, citing "personal reasons." Funny, we can think of nine off the top of our heads...
Birdie: Tiger WoodsHey, at least it was better than last year's opening round. Instead of a 42 and a WD, Woods went out in 37 and actually made the turn this time. He showed some flashes of greatnessalong the way, but ...
Bogey: Tiger WoodsWoods still wound up shooting a two-over 74 on a day when TPC Sawgrass was playing about as easy as possible. He started with a bogey and never got anything going, failing to break par for the sixth time in his last seven rounds. Since his win in 2001, Woods has only finished in the top 10 at the Players once. It doesn't appear like it will happen this year, either.
Birdie: Scoring ConditionsMore like birdies, plural. After getting rain Wednesday night, cooler-than-usual weather kept TPC Sawgrass' greens receptive during the opening round and the players took advantage. At a course where a 74 usually doesn't kill you, Woods' Thursday score has him currently two shots outside the cut line.
Bogey: K.J. ChoiAfter a tough start to 2012, the defending Players champion was looking to jumpstart his season here. It didn't happen on Thursday. Choi bogeyed five of six holes during one stretch, making it very unlikely he'll join the short list of two-time winners at TPC Sawgrass (Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Davis Love III and Hal Sutton) this year.
Birdie: Blake AdamsOn the heels of consecutive missed cuts and with just one top 10 in 2012, it would be tough to pick a bigger longshot coming into this eventthan Adams. But after rattling off five-straight birdies to close out the front nine, the 36-year old found himself in the lead and he didn't blink. A 66 put him just one off the first-round pace set by Ian Poulter and Martin Laird. Not bad for a guy who lives in a town with a smaller population than the size of the field this week.
Bogey: The Big TwoNeither Rory McIlroy or Luke Donald shot themselves out of the tournament, but when you're the two top-ranked golfers in the world, a lot is expected of you. Surprisingly, neither delivered much on Thursday despite easy scoring conditions. McIlroy had a chance at a decent round until he found the water on No. 17 and made a double bogey. Scrambling pars on No. 18 by both kept them out of black numbers, but if either Donald or McIlroy are going to contend this weekend, they'll need a lot more red on their Friday scorecards.
Birdie: Ben CurtisFor six years, the 2003 British Open champ struggled to even make a cut. But in the last month, he's become a fixture on the leader board. Curtis came out of nowhere to win the Valero Texas Open, but apparently, he has no plans of going back to obscurity anytime soon. He followed up that surprising win with a T-13 at New Orleans, a T-5 at Quail Hollow and now an opening 68 at TPC Sawgrass. Is he on some new Pilates regimen we're not aware of?
Bogey: Sean FoleyThe world's most-scrutinized instructor is sure to hear a wave of new criticism if his three star pupils -- Tiger Woods, Hunter Mahan and Justin Rose -- don't turn it around. The trio combined to shoot eight-over par Thursday and all are in jeopardy of missing the weekend. Of course, that same group has combined to win four times already in 2012, but in our what-have-you-done-for-me-lately society, that stat is sure to be forgotten quickly.