Tiger Woods, 5-under through 16. Hole 15, Par 3, 155 yards As Tiger walks to the tee, a fan yells, "They forgot who you are, Tiger!" On the par 3, Tiger tosses a short-iron over the bunker guarding the front of the green, landing about 8 feet from the hole. His putt lips out and Tiger taps in for par. Tiger Woods, 5-under through 15. Hole 14, Par 4, 412 yards Not a 3-wood off the tee this time, but an iron to avoid a big fairway bunker on the right. From the fairway, Tiger almost holes his approach, hitting it to 2 feet, and he makes the birdie putt. Tiger Woods, 5-under through 14. Hole 13, Par 5, 626 yards So at this beast of a hole, we'll finally see Tiger hit driver off the tee, right? Wrong. Tiger hits another fairway wood off the tee then lays up. Wedge to six feet, then rolls in birdie putt to huge applause. Sometimes this game looks easy.
Smart play by Woods, who understood that the wet fairway put this hole out of reach in two. Tiger Woods, 4-under through 13. Hole 12, Par 4, 475 yards Off the tee Tiger hits another fairway wood and finds another fairway. But then he pops up his iron, landing in a deep bunker left of the hole and looking very unhappy. His bunker shots runs through the green leaving a 20-foot chip from the rough for par. Makes a decent chip from there, but cards his first bogey of the day. Tiger Woods, 3-under through 12. Hole 11, Par 4, 467 yards Tiger hits his first bad shot of the round, pulling an iron off the tee into the left-side bunker, and he spins around in disgust. However, he recovers nicely from the sand and make a 6-foot par-saving putt.
There haven't been this many people up early in New Jersey since Springsteen played the Today Show. Tiger Woods: 4-under through 11. Hole 10, Par 3, 220 yards:
A slight breeze starts blowing at Ridgewood Country Club as Tiger makes the turn, but it shouldn't affect scoring. Tiger hits an iron on this downhill par 3 to about 25 feet. Putt thisclose to going in — Tiger thought he had it — and he gets another par. Tiger Woods: 4-under through 10. Hole 9, Par 4, 440 yards: Another 3-wood off the tee, another fairway hit. Tiger hits the green with his approach shot and he has a 25-foot uphill putt for birdie. After hitting his putt, Tiger starts walking to the hole. Low all the way. Another par. Tiger Woods: 4-under through nine. Hole 8, Par 3, 217 yards: Another tap-in par for Tiger on the par-3 eighth. He looks totally in control. VERY focused. Tiger Woods: 4-under through eight. Hole 7, Par 4, 447 yards: Did new coach Sean Foley tell Tiger to keep his driver in the bag? Woods hits another 3-woods to the right side of the fairway, even though he might have reached a more favorable plateau in the fairway with his driver. Whatever the case, his conservative strategy is paying off. Tiger hit his approach to 12 feet and makes his birdie putt.
The crowd has now swelled to more than a thousand, and they are really behind him. Looks like we've got a situation in New Jersey this morning. Tiger Woods: 4-under through seven. Hole 6, Par 4, 471 yards: Tiger stripes another 3-wood into the right side of the fairway. From a downhill lie, he hits his approach pin-high, about 25 feet right of the pin. His birdie putt stops right at the edge of the hole. Par.
Conditions are ripe for scoring today: wet course, no wind, cloudless sky. Tiger won't be the only one going low at Ridgewood. Tiger Woods: 3-under through six. Hole 5, Par 4, 291 yards:
Tiger drives the green on this short par 4. He really grinds over his putt, but just misses it as a growing crowd yells for it to go in. Tap-in birdie. This is officially getting interesting. Tiger Woods: 3-under through five. Hole 4, Par 4, 444 yards:
Tiger hits another 3-woods off the tee — we're sensing a theme here — and finds the fairway. He lifts, cleans and places his ball hits his approach to 15 feet. His putt rolls by on the left. Par. Tiger Woods: 2-under through four. Hole 3, Par 5, 588 yards: You know what they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Then find some vodka… Anyway, Tiger hits a fairway wood into the right rough, blasts a 4-iron out of there and then feathers a wedge to 6 feet. He makes the birdie putt and flips his putter in the air.
While Tiger played this hole, a white helicopter (not a police helicopter) hovered low over the course. And the crowd is growing. He's got about 500 fans following him, not bad considering they must have had a pretty early wake-up call. Jim Furyk would have never made it. Tiger Woods: 2-under through three. Hole 2, Par 3, 190 yards: Tiger hits a mid-iron to the downhill par-3 right over the flag to leave
himself a downhill 15-footer for birdie. Misses left and taps in. Commuters 400 yards away at 50 mph are creating a North Jersey ambiance along with the birds. Tiger Woods: 1-under through 2 Hole 1, Par 4, 380 yards: If you can't score today, you can't score period. No wind. Damp course
means we are playing lift, clean and place. In all black with a lone purple
stripe, Tiger draws a 3-wood into the middle of the fairway. He plays his approach to spin back, which it does — 25 feet! — and he nails the 15-foot
birdie putt. Tiger Woods: 1-under through one. Tiger Woods is out on the course first this morning with Cameron Beckman and Troy Matteson at the Barclays tournament at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J. We'll be following his round and giving you hole-by-hole updates throughout the morning.