Tiger Woods' Late 1st-Round Momentum Will Carry Him Up Honda Classic Leaderboard
Tiger Woods got off to a slow start at the 2013 Honda Classic, but he closed nicely and is ready to make a move up the leaderboard.
Tiger teed off early in Palm Beach, Fla., and put himself in a hole as he bogeyed two of his first four holes. He didn't pickup another bogey on the day and wound up at even par.
This has him six strokes off the lead at the completion of Round 1. This is a decent amount of ground for Tiger to make up, but his promising end to the round is a great sign.
At the heart of Tiger's early struggles was his putting. Those struggles started right off the bat. Woods, who teed off on No. 10 to start his round, missed this putt, to save par, on his opening hole.
Tiger continued to struggle with the flat blade and he accumulated 21 putts through just 11 holes. However, the difficulties stemmed from handling the greens rather than struggling with his stroke.
PGATour.com's Brian Wacker passed along this post-round quote from Tiger:
I hit good putts. I was getting fooled on the grain; some of it was snagging, some I would blow right through the top side.
The green speeds are a little bit faster than they were (Wednesday), but it's an adjustment I need to make.
Tiger improved as the day went on, and he needed just 11 putts for his final seven holes. Even when his putts were off, they were on the edge of the cup. His putting should be solid the rest of the way.
While Woods struggled a bit with his driving accuracy, he wasn't far off. His misses were typically just to the right. The most trouble this landed him in was on No. 6.
Again, missing to the right, Tiger found the hazard and a half-submerged ball. However, he has able to recover and save par.
Aside from the nice play out of the water, Tiger saved that hole with some wonderful wedge play, and he was dialed in with his short irons all day.
Where will Tiger finish?
This is a huge key to Tiger's success. While he has been on a journey to regain his dominant form, Tiger has been inconsistent with his distance control. However, he has been dialing in this year, and looks to have that rolling at the Honda.
Tiger wasn't far off during his opening round, and I expect his scores to shrink as the tournament progresses, and we all know Tiger has the ability to go low on this course.
Last year, Tiger fired a career-best final-round 62 to make a charge into second place. I will be surprised if he waits until the final round to make a big charge this year.
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