An Interesting Tournament With Future Implications?
The Farmers Insurance Open held at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California, has proved interesting in several ways. Thursday was a fairly nice day on the Pacific coast, and it was obvious the players were “feeling out” the course. There is a north and south course at Torrey, and the first two days would find players alternating on them. Tiger Woods was on the south course the first day, played well, and was in contention.
Friday found the golfers playing in showers the majority of the day. Tiger, on the north course, led at the end of the day by 2 strokes.
Saturday, which should have been the 3rd round, was “fogged out”. It rolled in and out all day, and force the tournament directors to begin the 3rd round early on Sunday.
Tiger’s third round on a cold but mostly cloudy day, was brilliant. At the end of the 18 holes, he was 4 up. Although he couldn’t seem to hit a fairway early in the 4th round, which began about 45 minutes after the completion of the third, he scrambled well and ended the day after playing 7 holes 6 shots in the lead.
Monday found wind, a golfer’s worst enemy. Tiger’s day began at the 8th hole. He pared, and moved to the 9th. A little trouble there but he continued to get pars. On the eleventh hole, he made one of the greatet bunker shots in history, putting the ball within a foot of the cup. He pared the hole. He birdied the 13th, to go up by 8 strokes.
A bad second shot on 14 forced Tiger to bogey the hole. The 15th hole was even more problematic. He hit his tee shot into the ice plant, far left of the fairway. He was penalized a shot for a lost ball. His third shot was right in front of the green, but he pitched badly and double bogeyed the hole.
Not to make excuses for Tiger, but the threesome ahead of them played so slowly that Tiger and his group had to wait 5 to 10 minutes for ever fairway shot. Their rhythm wad totally disrupted.
On the par three 16th, Tiger made par. His second shot on the 17th found him in the bunker once again. His lead was down to 4 strokes. He played the 18th par 5 intelligently and pared the hole to win his 7th Farmers.
Tiger has never won a major without a prior PGA win. Every time he has won the Farmers’ tournament he has won at least 4 tournaments in the season. He now has 75 PGA wins, seven behind Sam Snead who has 82. He surpassed Jack Nicklaus last year who has 72.
Tiger needs to solve his problems from the tee. The rest of his game appears to be back to where he expects it to be. It’s early in the season, but the gauntlet has been laid down. It should be fun.
Columnist-The Guardian Express