On Day 1 at the CIMB Classic, Tiger Woods beat the heat, owned the back nine and currently trails the leader, Troy Matteson, by three strokes.
Not a bad way to open the tournament.
Woods absolutely destroyed the final nine holes with five birdies, leaving him in a solid position at five-under. He would birdie seven holes in total.
Woods is currently tied for seventh with five other players. Here are your first-round highlights.
Surely, Woods will be pleased with his start to the tournament. Yet you can't help wondering if he'll also ask himself "What if?" after a few holes on Thursday.
On eight and nine, he missed short birdie putts you know he would love to have back. On 17, he just missed an eagle attempt. Sitting at even-par on the turn surely wasn't what Woods wanted either.
But let's give credit where credit is due—he fought back and played some fantastic golf down the stretch. And he did so in sweltering conditions. He had the following to say afterwards (via PGATour.com):
"I really started hitting the ball quite well at the end of the front nine. I happened to miss two short putts ... but also the two putts I hit were good putts at 8 and 9." he said. "Realistically it could have been 7 or 8 (under). But even at the turn, and to still post 5 (under), it was a nice little comeback.
"It's going to take 20-plus this week to win the tournament, so I've got to be aggressive and we've got to go get it."
No need for any awkward interviews after Thursday's first round, right Tiger?
Now, I don't want to put a damper on Tiger's strong opening round, but it hasn't been his performances on Thursday or Friday that have betrayed him this season. Generally speaking, when Woods has fallen apart in 2012, it's been over the weekends.
The weekend cost him at the U.S. Open. The weekend cost him the British Open. The weekend cost him the PGA Championship.
Some folks live for the weekends. In 2012, Woods has hardly been a weekend warrior.
But he'll cross that bridge when he gets to it. For now, Woods is in great position, and is a putt here and a chip there away from posing a huge round. You have to like his chances.
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