A flash of greatness in Woods' so-so day

Posted: August 10, 2007

PGA Notes

TULSA, Okla. - Not that we needed another demonstration of what separates Tiger Woods from the rest of us, but he provided one yesterday during his opening-round 71 at the PGA Championship.

It came at the absurdly long 653-yard fifth hole at Southern Hills, where Woods, after his drive, had 286 yards from the fairway to the front of the green. He ripped the kind of low, screaming shot with a 3-wood that simply cannot be hit by any other human.

The ball landed short of the green, split the two bunkers flanking the front of it, and rolled up to within 15 feet of the hole. Unfortunately for him, his eagle putt hung on the lip.

Other than that, Woods' four-birdie, five-bogey day was so-so, as he hit 10 fairways and 10 greens and needed 30 putts, although he had no three-putts.

"I felt like I hit the ball better than my score indicates, which is good," said Woods, who is looking for his first major title of the year. "That's a good sign heading into the next three days. I just need to clean up my round a little bit."

Hot, hot, hot

Considering it was so hot in Tulsa that nobody in his or her right mind would stick a big toe outdoors, listening to the players downplay the discomfort and drenched shirts was a clinic in stoicism.

"It's warmer than Florida but nowhere near as humid, which is nice," Woods said.

"It's definitely warm, but we play in hot conditions a lot of the time," Ernie Els said. "This is a bit extreme, but I don't think it's affecting the guys too much."

Sergio Garcia and his group were put on the clock yesterday, in part because of the time they spent wiping themselves down with a towel - arms, face, hands and grips in a never-ending quest to stay dry.

"And 15 seconds later you're sweating again," Garcia said.

O'Hair watch

West Chester's Sean O'Hair started his week with a par 70 that put him in the thick of things.

"It was nice to start off with a decent round in a major," said O'Hair, who played early and was eager to get out of the worst of the afternoon heat and humidity.

His card showed five birdies, three bogeys and one double bogey, a product of one of his three three-putts.

- Joe Logan

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