Until his death in 2006 the best second set of eyes for Woods had been those of his father. On the eve of the 1997 Masters Earl watched Tiger hit three putts from his bedside and advised him that his hands were too low. “Lift them up” Earl said. “Get that little arch in your hands like you always do.”
But what if he can win tomorrow and rejuvenate his career? This is a Ryder Cup year and the site of the biennial competition is Le Golf National near Versailles France where he has twice won the French Open. McDowell a former European Ryder Cup hero wants nothing more than to make the team but he also is trying to focus on what he can control.
Watson’s beautiful mind — and game — was on display for all to see this week as he shaped shots around Riv’s signature eucalyptus trees. His fans and peers alike marvel at Watson’s ability to see and execute shots that others don’t or can’t.
The lone exception was the sixth hole when he pulled his driver into the trees attempting to hit a cut and his ball ricocheted back into play traveling only 198 yards and failing to reach the fairway. Woods compounded his error by flaring a fairway wood to the right that bounced once and into a red-staked hazard of marsh and cattails. Woods took a drop and made double bogey.
Woods got into red figures on the day early with a 21-foot birdie putt at the 3rd. Aided by a sense of the moment that always seemed to allow him to will the ball into the hole Woods struck his putt and it died just at the right moment and dropped in.