Since returning from back fusion surgery previous year Woods, who is poised to make his first start since the Masters at this week's Wells Fargo Championship, has contended for titles at the Valspar Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational, defying perhaps even his own lofty goals and creating a frenzy of expectations, be they realistic or otherwise. He finished 16 shots back, his widest distance from the lead in 19 appearances at the Masters.
Peterson had a two-shot lead over five players, from Quail Hollow member Johnson Wagner to PGA Tour rookie Keith Mitchell.
Jason Day returns to Quail Hollow looking for revenge. This week is an example of the latter, as Hadley comes into Quail Hollow with three straight top 20s on tour.
One of the big areas Phil struggled at past year during the PGA Championship was his short game, as he lost 4.6 strokes to the field around-the-greens.
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"They feel springy and they feel fast especially as I am walking on them, but they are not putting that way", Woods said with a smile as he shook his head in confusion. While he's always been rock-solid off the tee, he's dialed in his iron play and bogey-avoidance this year, making him now a consistent cut-maker every week.
He made the turn at one under but bogeyed the par 5 tenth hole and that was the story of the day for Woods. He ranks 1st in strokes gained: tee to green and strokes gained: par 4's, as well as 8th in proximity, and 2nd in both birdies or better gained and bogeys avoided.
In its 15-year history, the Wells Fargo Championship (originally called the Wachovia Championship) has produced more than it's fair share of memorable winners.
"I am excited to put my first set of TaylorMade proto irons in play this week. Now I'm just trying to get a little better".
This is the story of a PGA Tour player who really needs a win ... while actually not needing one at all. McIlroy, the only two-time victor of this tournament, was within one shot of the lead with seven holes to play.
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Both Griffin brothers were visibly emotional upon learning that Shaquem had been drafted by the Seahawks. Added Shaquill: "I was going to be happy no matter what team that gave him the opportunity".
One more time for effect: "But you know, if it doesn't happen, whatever".
"I threw my clubs in the closet for about 10 days, got away from the game", Woods said.
McIlroy used 29 putts in the round, with birdies on all three par 5s. He felt the grass on the greens had grown since earlier.
The first groups off Tees 1 and 10 begin their rounds at 7 am EST. That would be Tiger Woods after winning the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines (missed the Tour event at Torrey the next year due to injury); Graeme McDowell after winning the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach (did not return for the Pro-Am); and Rory McIlroy after winning the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional (did not return to play the National there the following summer).
"The course is going to be playing different", he said.
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"Seriously", Woods said. "Most of the golf courses I've played have been really hard setups". I mean we have been paying $8,900+ for Luke List the past couple weeks and now we get him for $7,400 after a missed cut at the Valero Texas Open?