Honda Classic grind 'like playing a British Open', says Woods

by Leon Thompson February 25, 2018, 1:26
Honda Classic grind 'like playing a British Open', says Woods

AUSTRALIAN golfer Adam Scott has spectacularly thrown away his chances of joining the first-round leaders at the Honda Classic.

Tiger's only real issue was actually at the second easiest hole on the course, the par 5 third. The 35-year-old Swede is blooming late and becoming one of the most consistent names on tour, and at a price that's reasonable. Patrick Cantlay and Kevin Na also made runs, but Watson's experience on the fast and firm Riviera Country Club ended up as the difference-maker.

"It was hard to the very end", Simpson told PGA Tour Radio.

Alex Noren continued his impressive start to the year on the PGA Tour as he earned a share of the first-round lead on a tough day for scoring at the Honda Classic. McIlroy needs to win the Masters to complete the career grand slam and make it a hat-trick of European wins. The course is characterized by breezy conditions that make accuracy hard. It extends its claws throughout the round, particularly at holes 15, 16 and 17 - known as The Bear Trap. It's rare to find a hole that doesn't have water. More recently, he played with Woods on Saturday at Torrey Pines. The first two events were won by major winners Tom Weiskopf and Lee Trevino, and in addition to Nicklaus, they've been joined by the likes of Johnny Miller, Larry Nelson, Tom Kite, Hale Irwin, Curtis Strange, Fred Couples, Vijay Singh, Mark O'Meara, and Padraig Harrington. He finished 2nd at this tournament in 2015 before missing the cut in the last two seasons. He sits seventh in the world rankings right now. Give him a little bit of time. So it was a long period of time where I was really struggling. "Then it was tough to make putts out there".

Woods had only one bad hole, a double bogey on the par-5 third, and was four shots behind. He barely got it out to the collar, used the edge of his sand wedge to putt it down toward the hole and missed the 3-foot par putt.

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'Definitely it was different, like playing a British Open. Woods did not practise at PGA National this week, opting instead to work on fixing issues that caused him to miss the cut last week at Riviera in his second start of 2018 after a year-long absence during which he had back surgery.

Garcia finished second in this tournament back in 2016 and he was 14 past year. - Jack Nicklaus called it on Tuesday night.

So far in 2018 the Northern Irishman has form figures of T3-2-MC-T20 as he builds up to the first major of the year at Augusta National in April. Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia are expected to be Fowler's top competition this week as they look to overcome the Bear Trap at PGA National and finish atop the leaderboard.

Woods was more accurate off the tee Thursday, hitting 50 percent of the fairways.

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