Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tiger Tames the Monster

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tiger Tames the Monster

Article excerpt

Byline: By Mark Garrod

The Blue Monster course at Doral in Florida appears to hold no fears for world No 1 Tiger Woods.

After finishing last year's Ford Champion-ship with rounds of 63 and 66 to beat Phil Mickelson by one, Woods has started this year's event with an eight-under-par 64 ( and leads Mickelson by one.

"This guy Tiger seems to play well every day, every week," said Mickelson, who shares second place with Rich Beem, Ryan Palmer, Mark Wilson and Colombian rookie Camilo Villegas.

"I'm just trying to keep pace. I'm trying to maybe have another shot at duelling out with him on Sunday. I'm glad that he's playing well ( I've got to do my part and stay with him."

It was Woods' lowest round of the year but asked if it was his best he recalled the fact he thrashed Stephen Ames by a record 9 and 8 in last week's Accenture World Match Play in California.

"I played similar to this ( at least for 10 holes ( at La Costa," he said. Woods went to the turn in 29 there, incredibly winning every hole on the front nine.

"I hit the ball well today. I hit a lot of good golf shots and it's always nice to get back on smooth greens again. Made a few putts too, so that helps.

"I drove the ball really well today. Some of the things that I've been working on are starting to come together.

"If you look at it, boy, there's been a lot of great players that have been up there in contention on this course. Just looking at that list of champions, it's pretty impressive."

Nobody has made a successful defence since Ray Floyd in 1981, but Woods added: "Hopefully I can go out and post another good number, because you have to. If you shoot even par you're going to get run over here."

The opening round was not totally to his satisfaction. He failed to birdie two of the par fives and was in the water on the second of them. …

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