The first round of action at the 2013 Honda Classic is in the books, and the biggest names at the tournament are nowhere near the top of the leaderboard.
It is early in the competition, and several players who feel good about their performances through the first 18 holes will be scratching their heads and wondering what happened after today’s round.
The opposite will also be true. A few golfers who struggled early will bounce back with an excellent outing in Round 2.
Here are my predictions for today’s risers and fallers.
Woods had an extremely strange moment during the first round in Florida. On the sixth hole, his ball ended up in the water, and he opted to take off his shoes and socks, get wet and save par.
While the image of Woods taking a dip in the water hazard in combination of his 70 for the round suggests that he is not on top of his game; the opposite may also be true.
If he is willing to hit the ball out of the water instead of taking a drop, it shows that he is fully committed and thinking creatively.
This is the mindset he needs to win, and it will lead to an improved performance tomorrow.
Choosing the world’s two top-ranked players to improve on the second day seems obvious, but it is difficult to go with anyone else based on past results.
Last year, Woods finished second at this tournament while McIlroy took home over $1 million for winning the competition. This is a course where both players are comfortable, although neither showed that today.
It will turn around for the World No. 1 soon enough, as his talent and experience on the course will not allow for another mediocre round.
Both Woods and McIlroy will start building momentum in today’s round.
In the opening round, Villegas displayed the tremendous talent that made him one of the world’s top players a few years ago.
A recent slump has caused him to fade into the background, and few expected such an impressive showing from the Colombian.
However, slumps in golf rarely end suddenly, and while this is a sign Villegas may be returning to top form, he will not be able to put together four excellent rounds.
Villegas was impressive yesterday, but he will now start dropping down the leaderboard.
Fowler is certainly an exciting player, and he reminded fans just how good he can be when on top of his game.
However, back issues have kept the 24-year-old from continuing his growth. If healthy, he is on a trajectory toward becoming a star on the PGA Tour.
But that has not been the case in recent months, and it is all too possible that his injury hinders him during the tournament.
With intense competition at the Honda Classic, Fowler will not be able to sustain his current pace.
|T6||Lee Westwood|| -4|
Full leaderboard available at PGATour.com.