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–> MARANA, Ariz. — Tiger Woods has not arrived at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club yet, site of WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, but starting this morning at around 7:15, his caddie, Stevie Williams, began doing the scouting work for the world’s No. 1 player.
Walking alone in the morning sunshine over the emerald green fairways, Williams, right, walked briskly and purposefully from one hole to another. In the fairways he stopped briefly to write down the yardages needed to clear fairway bunkers, but ignored the numbers on sprinkler heads.
The majority of his attention was paid to greens, the shaved areas around the putting surfaces and the collection areas.
On the seventh green, a roller coaster set above the 476-yard par 4, he stood on the front edge and made three paces to a first flat area where a hole might be cut, stopped, then made five paces to another next flat area. He repeated this exercise several times, mapping the green.
He walked the 576-yard par-5 eighth hole in about five minutes, but spent the next 10 minutes examining the large bowl-shaped area short and left of the green.
On the 10th hole, one of the few fans on the course called to him, "Hey Stevie! Is Tiger coming today?""Nay," was his simple response, as he strode on and continued his work.
Like everyone else, those fans will likely have to wait until dawn tomorrow for their first look at Woods.
(Photo: Fred Vuich/SI)