I gave away extra tickets for The Barclays to several readers. Anthony De Rosa aka Soup was one of the lucky recipients and braved the bad weather on Friday. He was kind enough to blog about his experience:
We knew early on that trying to chase Tiger around the course was not a good strategy, so after watching Tiger on the 5th hole, we decided to skip ahead and find a spot on the 8th hole. It was pretty empty when we got there, so we set up camp behind one of the bunkers under the television tower. We watched Freddy Couples and Stewart Cink, as well as Paul Goydos, who was the leader going into today’s round. We were fortunate enough to watch Goydos birdie two holes. The fairways are narrow on most of the holes at Liberty and not very forgiving. The conditions slowed the balls down considerably, in fact one shot off the fairway stuck right in the fringe and left a sizable divot behind. The golfer was forced to do a drop because the ball was submerged and unhittable.
Nobody seemed to be able to sink a putt, we maybe saw 4 putts go in on their first attempt on the green. Tiger eventually made it over to the 8th hole, which was a 5 par, a pretty long distance with a dog leg. Tiger deposited his shot from the fairway into the bunker and managed to put it on the green, just a few feet away from us. Tiger was taller and stronger than he looks on television. He’s in much better shape than many of these golfers.
After watching him par the 8th, we skipped ahead again to the 14th hole, which is the signature hole of the course, with a sweeping view of New York City and the Statue of Liberty. It’s only a par 3, a very short hole, but very tricky, with very little room to place the ball on the green. There is a quick drop on the left, where we saw many of the golfers ahead of Tiger have the misfortune of having their shots roll down towards. Just before Tiger’s group we watched Y.E. Yang, the South Korean golfer who made history recently as the first Asian born golfer to win a major. He hit a great shot on the 14, placing the ball just a few feet from the hole off the tee.
Tiger finally made his way to the 14 and placed it just near the front of the green setting him up for a long birdie attempt. Tiger has been uncharacteristically bad on the green lately and he wound up missing the birdie shot, as the ball went just right of the hole, and settled for a par.
Tiger pulled out a Zip Lock baggie and tossed what looked like Reese’s Pieces into his mouth while waiting for his turn to tee off at the 15. After Tiger ripped a long shot we decided to call it a day.
It was an incredible experience to watch one of the greatest if not the greatest golfer of all-time.