Van Pelt soars as Tiger crashes
Tiger Woods is nine shots off the pace set by Bo Van Pelt after the first round of the Quail Hollow Championship.
Tiger Woods posted a two-over-par 74 and found himself nine shots off the pace set by fellow American Bo Van Pelt after the first round of the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Woods, returning to action for the first time since the US Masters earlier this month, had looked on course for a below-par score after 16 holes but drove into the water on both the 17th and 18th holes
Those late blips – he dropped three shots on the last two holes – brought an end to the 34-year-old’s streak of 21 straight rounds at par or better and marked his worst opening round at a PGA Tour event in three years.
One thing Woods did well was keep his emotions in check.
When he hit his tee shot into the water on the par-3 17th his only reaction was to hold out his hand for another ball. And his face remained deadpan when he hit his next tee shot into the water again and had to scramble for bogey.
His nonchalent comment afterwards?
“I hit a bunch of balls left, I hit a bunch of balls right, hit a few down the middle. And that was about it.”
Asked whether he would spend time on the range in a bid to find form for the second round, he added: “I’m not going to the range today. To hell with it.”
Van Pelt, in contrast, enjoyed a flawless round of 65, carding seven birdies along the way.’
Four birdies on the final six holes spurred Kenny Perry to a six-under-par 66, putting him one shot behind clubhouse leader Van Pelt.
Colombian Camilo Villegas was a further stroke back after a 67, one shot ahead of a group of six players comprising Australian Geoff Ogilvy, Argentina’s Andres Romero and the American quartet of Billy Mayfair, Paul Goydos, JJ Henry and Brad Faxon.
Like Woods, newly-crowned Masters champion Phil Mickelson – who fell ill on Tuesday and was treated for dehydration after managing only five holes of yesterday’s pro-am – blotted his copybook by bogeying the last two holes, but he still managed to post a two-under-par 70.
And that was quite something in the circumstances
The American had more than two and a half bags of fluid pumped into his veins after he withdrew from Wednesday’s pro-am complaining of dehydration .
“I may have run out of a little bit of energy there towards the end, but I hit some good shots and was able to shoot a decent round,” he said.
Mickelson was four-under with three holes to play but bogeyed the last two as his energy levels started to fall away, but rather than be discouraged by his ill health he said it might be a good sign.
“The last couple times where this has happened I’ve ended up playing very well and even won at Doral a year ago, so maybe it’s a good omen,” he said.
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