Doubtful Tiger was intimidated

July 03, 2009

Tiger Woods was eight strokes behind before he'd even struck a shot in the first round of the AT&T National, the result of Anthony Kim having posted an eight-under par 62 in the morning. This prompted a question as to what Woods thought about having to start in what seemed a prohibitive hole.

"You get used to it," he said diplomatically. "You know you have to shoot something in the 60s obviously. But then again, you're going to have the same conditions they had the very next day -- calm in the morning, good greens, and even if you don't get it the first day, you can always get it the second day."

The exchange recalls Woods' first tournament as a professional, the Greater Milwaukee Open in 1996. After shooting 67-69 in his first two professional rounds, Woods came off the course only to discover that he still trailed by eight.

"I'll bet he wasn't too happy a camper when he saw 14-under was leading," fellow pro Kelly Gibson said then. "Welcome to the real world of golf."

Welcome, indeed.

-- John Strege