Jun
1
2012
Beware the sick golfer: Tiger trailing the “other Rory” by a stroke
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Looking good, Tiger

Tiger Woods minimized mistakes in the difficult conditions at Muirfield Village, with the temperature dropping to the 50s, combined with the gusting wind, not to mention he was feeling under the weather, which makes his three-under 69 even more commendable. At the halfway point of the Memorial, Tiger, along with Spencer Levin and Scott Stallings, trail Rory Sabbatini by a shot.

Tiger sounded awful during the round and worse afterward. He was…uh..slightly congested (you know, when you try to clear your nose/throat and the result is nasty wads of spit?), but he battled through to finish strong on a chilly day at Jack’s tournament.

Woods got off to a great start, rolling in three birdies in his first six holes. Then, he had a hiccup on the par-3 12th, missing his tee shot over the green and left, where he had an awful lie. His first chip didn’t advance onto the green and then he chipped again before two-putting for a double-bogey 5.

Overall, he said he’s pleased with his ballstriking and his shot-making. He was shaping shots and hitting the ball at all different trajectories.

“I hit the ball well all day,” said Tiger in his post-round presser. “It was a day that I needed to.  The wind was blowing out there, was swirling in those trees, and it was just a tough day.  Granted, the greens were softer, but still, the wind was a little bit of a test.  With these pin locations today, some were pretty hard.  Only a few were accessible.

“But I figured anything under par was going to be a good score, and I was able to post something in the 60s.”

Most of all, as he said on Thursday, he was happy with the progress he’s made recently.

“I’m more pleased with the work I’ve done this past week and the things that I’m supposed to be doing for the past few tournaments I was able to do,” said Tiger. “This is the way that I hit the ball at Bay Hill and the way I hit it at the end of last year.  That’s what’s exciting about it.”

Tiger is the only four-time champion at Memorial (1999-01, 2009). Who else likes his chances this weekend? Well, pending his health, but he can play through a bug. It’s not fun, but he’ll manage (well, never know, he might withdraw due to physically fatigue).

***

Quip of the day: The honor goes to a radio guy (who will remain unnamed because I forgot to ask him if I could use it) who we’ll call Stan. Just before interviewing Tiger on-air, the radio guy went to shake his hand, but Tiger blanked him. He explained and said something like, “No, I’m really sick,” and clarified it wasn’t his allergies bugging him, which had been the case on Thursday. The radio guy didn’t miss a beat and deadpanned, “So it’s not just a black-white thing?”

Laughter erupted.

Tiger even mustered the little energy he had left and chuckled, acknowledging that the radio guy’s line was a “good one.”

(Photo by Getty Images/Andy Lyons)