Nov
9
2011
Your Australian Open/Another Tiger Comeback First-Round Open Thread
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Tiger + Australia = Love affair...oh, wait, except when the National Enquirer followed him to Melbourne

Tiger Woods, along with Jason Day, Australia’s highest-ranked player, and Robert Allenby, have kicked off their opening round of the Australian Open at The Lakes.

Just for fun, let’s make some predictions. Who will go low in the three-ball (Tiger/Day/Allenby)? I take Jason. And what will Tiger shoot? I’ll go with even par. Maybe that’s a tad too generous since conditions have toughened with the wind gusting rather healthily this afternoon in Sydney.

So far, not much to report in the first few holes. Tiger lipped out a birdie putt from roughly 12 feet on the first hole — blame it on the slooooow greens that we know he hates. He has posted two pars! He’s already not happy with his driver! From the trees on the third, he punched out and his ball rolled through the green, but he hit a nice chip to three feet (he might make that).

Meanwhile, two Americans are near the top of the leaderboard. Dustin Johnson carded six-under 66, which puts him a stroke behind leader Jarrod Lyle. Who’s the second-lowest American? Oh, the U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples, who is only 52, shot five-under 67. He’s currently tied for third.

Chances are very slim, but I’m just going to throw it out there and say Fred should sub for Steve Stricker if he comes up lame next week in Melbourne. I know Fred has said he’s definitely not playing, but can’t someone convince him? It’d be way better than John Cook filling in! However, Cook is holding his own! — he fired three-under 68, currently putting him at T12.

Steve Williams…I mean, Adam Scott, who is playing in the group ahead of Tiger, is even par. I still think tournament organizers shouldn’t have bailed on grouping Stevie with Tiger and Day. Tiger and Stevie made up, after all!

Oh, one more thing, quick shout-out to Aussie pal Luke Elvy, who is co-announcing the event with Ian Baker-Finch. Big time! I mean, I knew he was pretty big in Australia, but I didn’t expect to hear his voice in the opening of the telecast and then his face pop up in the announcer’s booth. Great stuff, Luke!

Alright, drop your thoughts below.

(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)