6:00: Transition time, folks. Garrett Willis still leads at -6. Furyk is chasing at -4. Daly and Golf Channel are in the hall of shame. My four kids are honking for attention. Been a pleasure to chat. Talk to you again soon....
5:56: Glen makes a good connection with his comment: "Daly IS getting too much attention on and off the course. A reality show on him along with Woods' lifestyle are dethroning golf from its once lofty position in sports integrity." Crazy as it might sound, Woods and Daly are golf's biggest draws, personal demons be damned. Tis a crazy mixed up world, Glen, if I may quote from Soul Asylum.
5:53: Hooray for Paddy. He must've found a four-leaf clover at the par 4 18th, where he holed out a 36-foot greenside bunker shot for a birdie to finish two under with a 69.
5:45: Speaking of O.U.C.H., Steve Wheatcroft has just one par today. Through 11 holes, Wheatcroft is plus 12. Double O.U.C.H. Wheatcroft, who tied for third last week in Puerto Rico, was the 20th best money-winner on the 2009 Nationwide tour.
5:41: O.U.C.H. Another double, at 13, and Ishikawa is +9 and in snowman territory (i.e. shooting in the 80s). Par is 71.
5:39: Watching Fluff caddie for Jim Furyk (-4, nice going!), I wonder: Would Tiger have turned out differently had he kept Fluff as his caddie, instead of firing him to hire Steve Williams? Fluff is a mellow Deadhead, not to mention a stud looper), while Williams is a Marine-like Terminator.
5:36: Harrington yanks a five-footer for par. Could be a long night for Paddy's caddie. Harrington, a psychotic practicer, might be on the practice green all night.
5:30: Ok, enough. I'm throwing a rock through my TV. Golf Channell interviews Daly after his -1 round. Golf Channel has turned Tour telecasts into an extension of their reality show. Tim Fincehm should step in and put an end to the charade. If Daly contends, show him. If not, show a few shots during the telecast. Shame on you, Golf Channel.
5:28: Pettersson bogies the par 3 7th, now is -4.
5:22: OK, folks, we've waited long enough. Feel free to share Tiger thoughts.
5:20: Nothing to tweet home about for Cink, who yipped a tap-in to bogey 15 and goes back to plus six after having made two birdies.
5:18: Japanese teenage sensation Roy Ishikawa has a triple and a double and is plus seven, 142nd in the field. Y.U.C.K.
5:13: Pettersson hits a wild drive, has to chip back to the fairway at the par 4 seventh.
5:12: Innisbrook, a stellar track, is showing its teeth: just 67 of the 144 players are at par or better.
5:06: Masters fever isn't heating up, it's HOT, and I'm not talking Tiger. Foreigners are flooding the states now in preparation. One contender is England's Ross Fisher, just birdied 10 to reach -3 and reached the green in two at the par 5 11th.
5:01: Shot by shot Daly coverage is borderline embarrassing.
4:56: Harrington shanks a three-foot par putt at the easy par 5 14th and drops to minus two. U.G.L.Y.
4:52: Garrett Willis at -6 is still our leader. Merritt drains a 13-footer on his 11th hole to reach minus four.
4:45: Glen asks, "What happened to 2009 British Open Champ Cink? 43 on the front nine?" Maybe Cink, golf's most prolific Twitterer, was tweeting away? Ha. I'm sure Cink will tweet about his ugly nine this evening. 4:40: Gotta cheer for Stuart Appleby, maybe the richest non exempt player on earth, who's at -2 through 11.
4:35: Perry doubles 13, drops to -2.
4:33: Rookie Troy Merritt of Idaho and K.J. Choi rising the board, both at three under through 9 and 10 holes, respectively.
4:30: Harrington goes eagle-birdie at 11-12 and pops onto the leaderboard at -3.
4:27: Splash. Kenny Perry (-4) rinsed his tee shot with a thin skull at the par 3 13th.
4:23: Golf Channel is shamelessly plugging its latest reality show by showing more or less every shot by Daly (-1) and his preposterous pants. Is somebody who hasn't had a top 15 on Tour in over five years worthy of such air time?
4:18: Eldrick (nice golf blog handle) says, "Gerald Willis and Jonathan Byrd, are you kidding me? Jack and Johnny say I need to play at Bay Hill to win the Masters?!?! Please." Eldrick, first, you need spellcheck (it's Garrett Willis), and you should talk to Mr. (Ari) Fleisher if you don't like my comeback plan. 4:16: Pettersson drains a body-length birdie at three (his 12th) to reach -5.
4:09: Hope you don't have Sergio on your fantasy team. Garcia is plus two, light years out of the lead. The Kid hasn't won Stateside since his jaw-dropping Players W in 2008.
4:06: Rod who? Perry is an accomplished club pro who's won three North Florida PGA section player of the year awards.
3:59: Carl Petterson and Rod Perry are now three under after 10 and six holes, respectively.
3:54: David Toms silky putting stroke is no longer so silky. After three straight bogeys, Toms is plus 1 today. He hasn't had a top 10 since last June, and his best finish this year in a stroke-play event is 42nd.
3:48: Kevin talks about his Fantasy picks, and wishes he'd taken Jeff Maggert (-4) instead of IJP (Poulter, another swanky trousers guy, plus two). Kevin did go with Fowler, who could become a fantasy stud because he's so consistent.
3:43: Ok, John Daly's sporting neonpolka-dot pants that the most beautiful, riveting, smashing trousers I've ever seen on.... John Daly, who, BTW, is even par.
3:39: Adam Scott covers the flag at 18 (his 9th hole) and should go to plus one. Ugh! How has the man withsuch a gorgeous, technically perfect swing not won a major?
3:35: Styx tells us he's peeved because he had Vijay in his fantasy pool but got whacked because Vijay withdrew. So Styx asks, "As fantasy golf becomes more popular, should the PGA Tour put out more injury info?" Helpful as that info would be, Styx, no chance. First, players don't communicate such info to the Tour regularly. Second, many WD reasons are given as injuries but in reality the players have something personal that takes them away from the tournament. 3:30: Remember Padraig Harrington? The man who won two straight majors in 2008 and was going to challenger TW for No. 1? Since then, Paddy's been AWOL in the majors (his best is a T-10 at the 2009 PGA), showing how dang hard golf is to sustain for everybody but Zeus, um, TW. Today, Paddy has all pars and is even through eight.
3:28: Tiger Woods.... Tricked ya. No Tiger scoop here.
3:25: Correction: Jim (Loopy) Furyk, not Jerry Kelly (-2), is leading among those on the course.
3:22 Jerry (cheesehead) kelly and Kenny (Kentucky) Perry are leaders (-3) among players on the course. Perry's gotta still be smarting over his Masters meltdown last April, no matter how aw-shucks he appears to be.
3:17: RIckie Fowler, my favorite rookie and most likely 20-something to win a major, fired a no-bogey 67 and is two back. How often somebody contends is a great way to judge how good a player is and Fowler is a leaderboard fixture. The kid's for real.
3:12 pm Hello, everybody. Welcome to the first roundblog for the Transitions. Oh, how things have transitioned since the last time I blogged here. Some weeks ago, my playground, Central Park, was covered in snow; I had three kids; and Tiger Woods was AWOL. Today, tulips and forsythia bloom in the park; I have four kids (the latest is a boy); and Tiger Woods is still making NY Post covers, but he's also practicing for his return to golf, at the first round of the Masters on April 8. Oh, renegade Garrett Willis (-6) is leading the Transitions in tampa.