Discussion Starter · #1 ·
taken from golf.com
Ogilvy's double eagle helps him tie for Honda lead
by TIM REYNOLDS, Associated Press
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -- Gusty winds sent 8-iron shots flying 245 yards, while some 4-irons struggled to go 185. The breezes had a few balls fluttering on the slick greens, most of the players couldn't break par and golf's rarest feat spiced up the afternoon.
Indeed, Thursday's opening round of the Honda Classic had almost everything.
David Toms made five straight birdies to highlight his 5-under round of 67, and he shared the first-round lead with Geoff Ogilvy, Ryuji Imada and Mathias Gronberg -- the seventh alternate who didn't know he was officially in the field until Wednesday morning.
``There are some good scores today, even with the conditions,'' Toms said. ``Somebody is always going to play well, no matter who is in the field.''
Southeast winds from 15 to 25 mph, with higher gusts, began blowing early and strengthened steadily before dissipating some by day's end.
Ogilvy's round was bizarre: 11 pars, two eagles, two birdies, a bogey, a double bogey -- and a double eagle on the 6th hole. His tee shot, with the wind, went 373 yards; his 8-iron from 169 hit the green, hopped three times and dropped in the cup's center.
``When things are going your way,'' said Ogilvy, who won the Match Play Championship this season, ``things are going your way.''
It was the second double eagle on Tour this year.
Imada's round was also entertaining, replete with him donning rain gear on the 16th to wade into a hazard and knock an errant shot back into play. He sandwiched six birdies and an eagle around three bogeys.
``It's only Thursday,'' Imada said. ``Come Saturday afternoon or Sunday, it's a whole different story.''
Of the leaderboard's top 18 players, 13 finished by lunch. Brian Gay -- who was in the first group and had the only bogey-free round -- Billy Mayfair and Jeff Gove were one shot back at 4-under, with Shaun Micheel, 2000 Honda winner Dudley Hart, Scott Hend and John Cook all at 69.
Take the strong winds, add humpbacked greens that are tough in placid conditions, and it's no surprise that Mirasol's Sunrise course left most befuddled. Defending champion Padraig Harrington battled to a 71, and the last three Honda winners before him -- Todd Hamilton, Justin Leonard and Matt Kuchar -- all shot 78.
``You're thinking, 'What the heck's going on?''' said 2001 champ Jesper Parnevik, who shot 71.
Cook struck his first tee ball at 6:45 a.m., in calm silence. As he played his approach, the wind started.
``At least we got one shot in,'' he quipped.
Even the leaders shook their heads. Imada called it ``British Open conditions with a PGA Tour setup.'' Ogilvy compared it to a U.S. Open challenge, and Gronberg said most holes played two clubs differently than usual.
``Another club or two,'' Gronberg said. ``and it's unplayable.''
Gronberg birdied the opening hole, quickly building momentum that led to a six-birdie, one-bogey effort. Toms had a three-birdie, three-bogey opening side, the last miscue coming after he sent a birdie try off the green on 18, his ninth hole.
He made four putts of 11 to 13 feet in the run of five straight birdies.
``It's not one of those days where you can go out and make 16 pars and two birdies,'' Toms said. ``It's just the type of course where you're going to make good bogeys out there even playing smart. So you have to be able to bounce back.''
The leading foursome is an unlikely group, for sure.
Toms has three top-10 finishes already this season, has pocketed more than $1.7 million and at No. 8, is the top-ranked player entered here. Ogilvy has more than $1.5 million in 2006 earnings and has finished outside the top 25 once in his five events.
Meanwhile, Imada labored for five years on the Nationwide Tour before getting his card, and Gronberg owns three top-10 finishes in his entire Tour career -- with 39 missed cuts in 70 starts.
``You always want to play good,'' said Gronberg, a native Swede who keeps a home not far from the Honda course. ``It's a long, long way to go. I don't see a reason why I shouldn't keep on playing good.''
Divots: John Daly hit a 397-yard drive on the 396-yard 7th hole. He managed par, and shot 76. ... Davis Love III (70) was among six players three shots back. ... Robert Garrigus was disqualified after signing an incorrect scorecard. D.J. Trahan (80) withdrew, as did Chris Riley (77, back injury) and Bubba Watson after three holes. Ben Crane (sick) and Chris Perry (wrist) withdrew before the round.