Tiger Woods British Open: Hot Start Means Star Will Be Among Leaders All Weekend

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIJuly 19, 2012

LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 19:  Tiger Woods of the United States plays his second shot on the eighteenth hole during the first round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club on July 19, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

If there's one thing the rest of the field doesn't want to see at the 2012 British Open, it's Tiger Woods getting off to a hot start.

Woods is currently three-under par after finishing his first round at the Royal Lytham and St. Annes golf club in Lancashire, England.

When Tiger comes out and puts on a brutal first-round showing—no matter what the tournament—he is seldom able to mount a comeback in the later rounds. Fortunately for Woods, he finds himself just three strokes back of leader Adam Scott.

Tiger's deficit to Scott doesn't matter as much as his impressive play does. The best thing for Woods is getting off to a great start, no matter what the rest of the field shoots. As long as he can get his confidence up, and get a head of steam early, he typically winds up in pretty good shape come Sunday.

He's done just that in the opening round. Woods leads the field in driving accuracy thus far, posting a robust percentage of 92.9.

An even more promising sign for Woods is that he has found his putting groove early on. I'm sure he didn't putt as well as he would have liked, but of the 12 players he is tied with or trailing, only four have a better putts per green in regulation mark. It isn't by much either, as those four players have been just one-tenth of a percentage point better.

Woods hasn't been the same golfer this year that we saw years ago. That has led some people to criticize his play and denounce his ability as a golfer. However, he is still ranked No. 1 in earnings this year and is atop the FedEx leaderboard, despite participating in less events than nine of the top 10 placeholders.

This start bodes well for Tiger even more so because the weather isn't expected to be pretty on Friday. According to Weather.com, the Royal Latham and St Annes golf club has a 60 percent chance of being subjected to rain showers during the second round.

If Woods can get through that, he'll be able to take advantage of the predicted clearer, sunny days on Saturday and Sunday.

The British Open is usually brutal weather-wise, but that doesn't seem to be the case this year. The world's best golfer—he is, whether you share that belief or not—is looking for his 15th major championship and finds himself in prime position to do just that.