ATLANTA -- There is still not much buzz at East Lake, but those who made it to the course on this sparkling, breezy afternoon are saving their throatiest ovations for a select group of 10 -- the U.S. Ryder Cup team members who are in the field.
Steve Stricker was greeted on the first tee with chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A," while Phil Mickelson, Justin Leonard and Jim Furyk were all greeted loudly and warmly.
Perhaps the most raucous ovation of all (and we're using the term raucous very loosely here; tickets are still available) was for none other than Anthony Kim, the 23-year-old spark plug who's fresh off thrashing Sergio Garcia in the Sunday singles matches. Kim bogeyed the first hole, but he's got the largest gallery on the course right now. Will he be ready to challenge Tiger Woods for both popularity and trophies next summer?
Incidentally, Vijay Singh, your 2008 FedEx Cup Champion, bogeyed the 1st, but did not putt with a bunker rake. Furyk wedged in from the fairway for eagle on the 1st and birdied the 2nd for the early lead. Only seven players in the 30-man field are currently under par ... Ryder Cup hangover anyone?