Woods at 1 under after storm-delayed day in Turkey
ANTALAYA, Turkey (AP) — Playing only 10 holes because of rain and flooding, Tiger Woods struggled with his driver and was well off the lead Thursday in the first round of the Turkish Airlines Open that was cut short because of fading light.
Woods and most of the field were unable to complete their round after the start was delayed three hours. He was at 1 under after 10 holes following a bogey on No. 9 in the next-to-last event of the European Tour season.
Paul Casey was at 7 under through 14 holes at the Colin Montgomerie-designed Maxx Royal course. Ricardo Gonzalez and Thorbjorn Olesen were the clubhouse leaders after 6-under 66s. Fifteen players finished their round before darkness halted play.
Organizers plan an early start Friday, with Woods facing a 20-yard chip shot over a greenside bunker for his third shot on the 11th when play resumes.
“It just gets dark so quickly and it’s like someone just turned off the light switch,” said Woods, who didn’t hit a fairway until the 10th hole. “The air now also is heavy with moisture so the ball is not going very far compared to when we were warming up on the range and early in the round.
“But towards the end we were hitting about a half a club short. I’m still working on getting a bit of the rust out of my game, but then tomorrow is going to be a long day for all of us.”
Woods started by making a 4-foot birdie putt on the first hole and then made another birdie at the par-3 eighth. His driver, however, was another matter.
His playing partner and Race to Dubai leader, Henrik Stenson, was at 4 under. Montgomerie was at par after 16 holes on the course he designed.
“It’s a tricky golf course and it helps to have played it numerous times as it is one of those courses where you get a better feel for it the more you play it,” Woods said. “However, looking back on my 10 ½ holes, I probably left a little out there and I see that 7 under par is leading at this stage, so the goal in the holes I have left in the morning is to pick up a few quick birdies.”
Gonzalez had six birdies and an eagle mixed with two bogeys while Olesen had eight birdies with two bogeys. Three players, including Pablo Larrazabal of Spain, were two shots back in the clubhouse.