“It was solid” caddie Joe LaCava said. “I think he played better golf on the weekend at TPC but didn’t finish off the rounds and his ball-striking was better at the Memorial but I’m not discounting it. Lots of positive signs.”
The swarming crowds were so large that they disrupted cell service. Fans who tried to lineup near the 10th tee more than 30 minutes before his tee time had to settle for 100 yards down the fairway to see along the rope line. Grown men and women were as giddy as school kids at recess to see him play again.
One hole later Woods had a 22-foot birdie putt and gave it a rap and watched as the ball chased toward the hole as if it had no place else to go. The crowd roared. He was tied for the lead.
In typical Bubba fashion there’s a hilarious story — call it potty humor — about his hole-out. Watson had to go to the bathroom and asked fellow playing competitor Cameron Smith whether he knew if there was a restroom nearby. Turns out there was one on the way to the next hole. “If you can wait a couple more shots” Smith said.
PGA Tour Radio on-course analyst Mark Carnevale who has walked nearly all of Woods’s rounds this season and competed against Woods in his heyday on Tour said the crowds at the Valspar Championship were the biggest he’s ever seen.