Thursday, July 01, 2010

Golf Magazine's Mike Walker live blogged the first round of the AT&T National. Leaderboard | Course Profile | TV Schedule | 2010 Schedule and Results

5:59 p.m. Golf Channel's Terry Gannon concludes: "I think the golf course won today." I think I like it better when the players win. That's it for the Live Blog today. Thanks to Stephanie Wei of WeiUnderPar.com and everyone who read and left comments. Golf Mag's Steve Beslow will be here tomorrow. 5:54 p.m. Then again, after watching players struggle at Aronimink today, I'm sure a lot of guys are happy they stayed home. 5:53 p.m. I know the date makes it bad for the European players and a lot of American players want to spend the holiday with their families, but this event is missing a lot of star players. If it wasn't for Woods, you'd think you were at Turning Stone. 5:48 p.m. I loved him in Barbershop but is Golf Channel's Golf in America host Anthony Anderson even a celebrity at this point.

5:42 p.m. An understandably grim Tiger talks with the Golf Channel. His quotes:
"I hit it good all day and let my round get away from me. It's unreal." "I just didn't make any putts at all today. My putting was awful." 5:40 p.m. Hmmmm. Tiger's round is over, another 20 minutes of Golf Channel broadcast left. I smell a Tiger video recap coming soon. 5:35 p.m. Woods is lining up a short  birdie putt on 18....and it lips out. Ugh! 3-over for the day. 5:30 p.m. Stephanie Wei reports on Dustin Johnson's race horse -- yeah, that's right -- at WeiUnderPar.com.
Johnson just reached the green with his second shot after a wayward drive on 18 -- he's 1-over on the day. 5:28 p.m. If you're wondering why we've been focusing on Tiger so much, it's because all the good scores were shot in the morning. Nobody's tearing it up this afternoon. 5:26 p.m. Woods (3-over) bombs a drive on 18. "Well he's got that club working," a cheerful Faldo says. 5:24 p.m. One more note on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. If Tom Watson plays well at the British Open, he should get serious consideration for the team. 5:22 p.m. Zach Johnson via Twitter from Sea Island, Ga.: Stuck in 4th of July traffic on the island! Unreal...hope there isn't an accident. Haven't moved 500 yrds in 30 mins...ughhh! At least he's having a better time than Tiger. 5:20 p.m. Woods misses his putt, double bogey, he's 4-over in last four holes, 3-over for the day. I would make a joke here, but it feels like piling on. 5:19 p.m. The Aronimink greens are giving guys a lot of trouble today. Earlier in the week, Jim Furyk explained why.

Q. Are you surprised at the setup, that it's this difficult? Were you looking for a little bit more of a vacation this week?
JIM FURYK: No, I don't think anyone was looking for a vacation. I just had never played the golf course. I was expecting different, to be honest with you. I had a different -- I think what I imagined in my mind. I had never been here before, and I know they renovated it. I didn't see it beforehand, so now I just see what it looks like after. I just had a little different picture of the golf course in my mind.
Like I said, it's still very good, I've just pictured it differently. The green complexes I had -- I didn't realize -- you think of old, something that's been here for -- I don't know when this club was started, but '20s, '28, so something that's been here for over 80 years, I don't imagine greens this size. Some of the slopes on the greens have a what I would consider somewhat modern feature to them. 17th green would be a perfect example of that.
So it's just not what I pictured in my head. I knew it would be a good golf course, I knew it would be tough, and it is definitely all of both of those. It's just probably a little different style than what I had projected in my head.

5:15 p.m. 5:13 p.m. 5:08 p.m. 5:03 p.m. I'll take the DL3 look on the golf course any day of the week. Classic look. I am Ricky's age, but have no desire to look like a skater boy on the golf course. Also, not all puma golf gear is as hideous at RF's. When Geoff Ogilvy was rocking the Puma gear, his stuff looked classic with a bit of modern thrown in. 5:02 p.m. Stephanie Wei of WeiUnderPar.com Tiger looked like a 20 handicap on that shot. I was going to say, that warrants a club throw...and then they showed the replay and it got one.  5:00 p.m. 4:55 p.m. 4:50 p.m. 4:45 p.m. 4:43 p.m. 4:38 p.m.
I played with Ron Jaworski yesterday, so I mean, our galleries were a little boisterous. Philadelphia is one of the great sports cities, so it's certainly great to be here. Merion will go over fantastic for the Open obviously, but this is fantastic. This just looks like a big event.
Some golf courses look like they can hold big events. This is one of them. And I think the fans make it a big event.
4:34 p.m. 4:33 p.m. John Kerry 4:28 p.m. 4:26 p.m. Also if DJ is a bomber what is Tiger? He's been right there with him off the Tee. So I guess we can all laugh at him next time he gets up there and starts talking about shrimping it out there. 4:23 p.m. 4:18 p.m. Let's talk Ryder Cup. I've got Tiger, Phil, Furyk, Kim, Stricker, D. Johnson as mostly locks. Looks like Kuchar and Glover will make the team. That leaves Mahan, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson, Ricky Barnes and Nick Watney competing for the four wildcards. Which of those, or maybe someone off the list, will be picked?
4:16 p.m. 4:11 p.m. Hey Rickie Fowler: Paula Cramer called and wants her pink outfit back.
Go GOLF!! Why does Ricky have to be Mr. Technicolor. At least 3 colors Ricky. Didn't he learn looking like an ex-con didn't work? I have to say, it's almost as if golf needed all the stories of the past year +. This is like Days of our Lives surrounding the sport I love! some good golf going on these days!

Rickie (Photo by Getty Images)

4:09 p.m. Tiger on the green again. Tee to green, he's been sharp today, he's just not getting the putts to drop. 4:04 p.m. Tiger Woods makes another par on 12, he's 1-under. Johnson gets back to even with a nice birdie putt. 4:02 p.m. David Toms is 11 for 11 in green in regulation today. Oh, and he's 2-under. 3:57 p.m. Reader Brandon Johnson asks: Mike, any early world on how tough St. Andrews will play? Pretty low scores the last two Opens there, I'd like to see it more challenging this time. Hard to say. It's a different golf course every day so it tests a player's shot-making and creativity more than U.S. tracks. Woods was pretty interesting talking about St. Andrews and why it's so challenging earlier this week.

Q. You mentioned St. Andrews is probably your favorite site for a major. Other than your success there, why is that? And do you feel that winning a major this year is important as you move closer to 18? TIGER WOODS: Well, as far as winning at St. Andrews, it's the greatest golf course in the world for me because I've always enjoyed it. I played there as an amateur. That was my first introduction to links golf was Carnoustie, Scottish Open the week before, and St. Andrews. It doesn't get any better than that as your introduction to links golf. I fell in love with it the first time I ever played it because I played it on a very interesting day. I played it when the tide changed right when I was at the turn, so I played all 18 holes into the wind. Absolutely fell in love with the golf course.
I've played there in the Dunhill Cup when it's been freezing, couldn't change the cups because the ground was frozen, hitting a sand wedge in the first hole, landed it on the front edge and it went over the green because the ground was frozen, wouldn't stop.
We've all played under different conditions there, and it's still a great golf course. It's one of the reasons why I love it so much. Q. Just to expand on that a little bit, do you recall what you were expecting when you first turned up at the Old Course and what your very first impression was? TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I thought it would be a little bit more narrow than it is. Getting on that 1st hole and seeing how wide it is, how wide every fairway is, but then again, once you start playing you realize it's not that wide. To get the angles you need to have into these flags, it narrows up very quickly. And then you add wind and where you need to put the golf ball to give yourself chance of getting the ball close, it gets really narrow. You can hit every fairway there and still never have a shot at a flag. And I think that's a pretty neat feeling.

3:55 p.m. Woods misses the green on 12 with an 8-iron and Nick Faldo brightens up. "Oh, they'll be words with Stevie Williams on that one." I've really come around to Faldo in the broadcast booth. 3:50 p.m. Tiger yells at his tee shot on 12 to "bite, bite." It stays in the fairway. Woods, Love and Johnson is about a long-hitting group as you'll find on Tour. 3:45 p.m. Woods just misses his birdie putt, still 1-under. Johnson pulls his putt and it runs about 4 feet past. He makes the comebacker, still 1-over. 3:40 p.m. Woods hits his wedge shot on 11 to about 10 feet. Johnson hits his even closer. Woods was sympathetic when asked about Johnson's Sunday meltdown at Pebble Beach. Funny, though, he couldn't remember doing anything like that personally.

Q. Is there anything you can or will say to Dustin after what happened to him Sunday at Pebble? TIGER WOODS: Well, it happens. And just because it happened doesn't mean that you can't ever win again. I mean, it happened to Mike Weir. I was playing not too far away from him at Medinah, and he shot 80 in the final round and came back and won the Masters. If he has the talent and the game to give himself that type of lead at a U.S. Open, there's no reason why he can't do that again and finish it off. It's just a matter of picking yourself up and doing it all over again.
3:34 p.m.
R2D2 knit hats
3:31 p.m. Aside from the one really bad drive and the following bad approach on #7, Tiger seems pretty ok today. Not a Tiger fan, but I think golf is better when he is around. 3:30 p.m. 3:25 p.m. 3:24 p.m. Sports Illustrated's Alan Shipnuck 3:24 p.m. 3:20 p.m. The New York Times
Tim Finchem, the tour commissioner, gave his usual circumspect answer to the question by listing the barriers for those seeking a tour event: “One, is just date and availability; two, is marrying the market with a sponsor. Every potential sponsor has their own ideas about where they would like to play for a variety of reasons. I suspect third is golf course access.”
3:17 p.m.  3:14 p.m. 3:11 p.m. 5 Guys Burgers and Fries 3:08 p.m. 3:04 p.m. 3 p.m.

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