David Dusek of Golf.com walked the back nine this morning as Tiger Woods played a practice round with Bubba Watson and amateur Jordan Cox from Stanford. He sent these reports from the course. 9 PacificTiger did not hold anything back on his drive at the par-5 18th. His drive landed in the first cut of rough with half the ball visible. From 260 yards, and with a pond in front of the green, Woods hot a 9-iron layup and left himself about 100 yards for his third shot.The pin was in front, in a small bowl. Tiger's ball landed on the bank in front and quickly rolled back into the pond. During the Buick Invitational in January, Woods hit an approach shot short of the green but the ball hung up in the rough, which has been cut for the Open.Woods gave little reaction, but the thousands of people ringing the green gasped. Woods did not play another ball to the green.Again, ignoring the flag, Tiger hit a few chips and putts to imaginary holes and strolled around looking relaxed and comfortable. 8:45 PacificIn case you were wondering about Tiger's stinger, don't.On 17 tee he hit a low 3-wood and held his follow-through low. The ball whizzed down the fairway and stopped in the middle, 10 yards short ofthe bunkers on the right.From 180 yards, he hit an iron approach that flew high in windless sky. "Man, he stuffed it," said one fan in a gruff Southern drawl. 8:30 PacificFrom the back tees, the 16th hole is a 225-yard par 3 that plays toward the Pacific. It will look stunning on TV. Today, all you can see is gray.Woods teed up on the right side of the box, smiled at Steve Williams, his caddie, and hit a low iron shot that landed just short and left of the green on the upslope.After Cox hit his shot, Woods teed up another ball and hit a cut 5-wood the went into the rough just a few feet right of the back of the green.Woods chipped his first ball to within three feet of the hole.Short game in order ... Check! 8:20 PacificTiger hit his drive on 15 into the left side the fairway, again, about 8 to 10 yards past Bubba Watson. From about 160 yards out, he hit his approach 12 feet right of the flag, pin high.If you didn't know he'd had surgery, you'd never be able to tell by the way he's playing this morning. 8:15 PacificWoods and Watson both played tee shots off a forward tee on 14, anticipating the box that will be used during the tournament.
All three players ignored today's flag. Instead, they putted toward tees that they had placed in areas where the holes will likely be cut during play. The greens are slow today because of fog and moisture in the air. On one uphill 30-footer, Woods hit the tee he was aiming for, which drew a smattering of applause. 8:05 PacificThere are thousands of people encircling the greens and tees on the holes where Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson and amateur Jordan Cox from Stanford are playing their practice round.
Tiger, wearing an orange shirt under a black vest, appears to be moving normally. On the 13th green, he even pivoted and lunged for a wayward wedge shot from Cox that was rolling across the green.
Woods pounded a 3-wood off the next tee into the middle of the fairway, 10 yards past Watson. Photo: Woods on the 14th tee on Tuesday. David Dusek/Golf.com More U.S. Open Coverage from Golf.com:Preview | Anonymous Tour pro's predictions | Tiger's history at Torrey | Best Open duels