Another week on the PGA Tour, another weather delay courtesy of Mother Nature. The first round of The Barclays was a stop-and-go kind of day, with two weather delays totaling six hours at Liberty National.
Tiger Woods, who finished first in FedExCup points in the regular season, shot a solid four-under, bogey-free 67 on Thursday. Woods, who had to cut his pro-am short on Wednesday because of stiffness in his back and neck, said he felt “a bit stiff” following the second rain delay, but he would receive treatment tonight and be ready to go on Friday.
Tiger, who teed off no. 10, had a stretch of three consecutive birdies on nos. 14-16. Here’s his putt for birdie on no. 15.
To preserve his bogey-free round, he also got up-and-down on no. 9 to save par.
Due to the delays, the afternoon wave on Thursday won’t finish the first round until Friday morning, which will push Tiger’s second-round tee time back to the late afternoon.
Woods was critical of Liberty National when the Barclays was held here in 2009, suggesting to a pro-am partner that Tom Kite designed the course before he had his eye surgery.
Other players also made off-hand comments, like, the front nine didn’t come back to the clubhouse because everyone would walk in and skip the back nine.
The course took the pros’…errr…suggestions into account and made a number of changes (74 in all) to the landing areas and the greens, and players have been much less critical and much more complimentary (and chosen their words carefully in fear of creating controversy).
“They made some really nice improvements,” said Woods, who placed T2 in 2009, on Wednesday. “Some of the landing areas have been changed. Some of the greens have been changed, and a couple bunkers have been repositioned, but they have made some really nice, positive improvements.”
Meanwhile, Kevin Stadler fired seven-under 64 to take the clubhouse lead. Ryan Palmer, Henrik Stenson and Camilo Villegas all posted six-under 65s to share T2. Matt Kuchar and Jason Day, who still salvaged 66 despite several errant shots, are right behind them at T5. Woods is in the cluster of players tied for seventh, just three shots off the lead.