How difficult was it to catch a glimpse of Woods on Friday? Emma Stenson wife of Henrik had taken daughter Lisa out of school so she could watch her father. She resorted to slipping inside the ropes for a better view but it wasn’t long before the Tour’s security staff shooed her back among the great unwashed. “I’m very disappointed” she said.
But what about Sunday? How will Woods respond to the pressure of trying to return to the winner’s circle after such a long layoff? Forget about just getting ready for the Masters in April. Tomorrow could be epic. Count three-time major winner Padraig Harrington among those who expect Woods actually will be sharper when it’s crunch time.
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.
PACIFIC PALISADES Calif. — On Friday night Bubba Watson played in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Among the lowlights for Watson was a running jumper he launched from the baseline that Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady casually swatted out of bounds.
Buoyed by his improved health in 2018 Watson began to see signs of his game returning even if the early-season results — before this week a T-35 at Pebble Beach was his best finish — didn’t indicate a resurgence. It all came together on Riviera’s back nine as Watson canned three straight clutch putts starting at the 11th. Then he dunked it from the bunker at No. 14.