I will update with time stamps (eastern standard time)
4:30 – Tiger gives a great interview with Steve Sands in which he thanks the fans for their encouragement. The ratings for the Golf Channel are about to drop precipitously now that Tiger is off the course. I will be tuning out myself. Until tomorrow.
4:19 – Tiger finishes his round with an eagle and goes to -5 to tie Rickie in the clubhouse. I assume he will be playing with Rickie tomorrow? The putt was 27 feet. It has to feel good to have that opening round; especially after starting with a three putt bogey.
4:13 – Tiger hits a fantastic 5 wood into the green on 18. He will have a legitimate chance at eagle here. That was a blistered 5 wood.
4:02 – Tiger gets up and down from a tough spot on 17. He needs a birdie on 18 to feel as if this was a very good round. Bryson three putts for a bogey and goes back to +4. I think he is in last place.
4:00 – Rickie leaves his eagle putt about two feet short. He will tap that in for a 65 and -5. That will be the leader in the clubhouse. Many, many people want Rickie to win this thing. Including myself.
3:59 – Rahm will get away with a par after a brilliant bunker shot. “It only takes one great shot on a hole to par it.”
3:57 – Rahm hits another bad shot. He is going to bogey the par 5 18th which is nearly impossible. Tiger hits his approach shot long and left of 17. The will be a very difficult up and down. Rory misses a birdie putt from about 15 feet.
3:53 – Rahm laying up at the par 5. He hits a shank but it does get over the water and ends up in the rough. Oh Jon, we are going to learn to hate you at the Ryder Cup next week. Rickie hits it to the middle of the green and has a chance at eagle.
3:51 – Rory with the same shot he holed out on 16 for the championship a few years ago. He hits another beauty. Tiger is hitting 3 wood off 17. It is only a 430 yard par 4. He leaves it out to the right and will likely, nevermind, it is in the fairway. Good call on the 3 wood.
3:49 – Bryson DeChambeau is playing terrible. I know many people that are happy about this. He is well over par and not even in contention at this point.
3:48 – A word from our sponsor – Health Insurance Agency in Charlotte, NC The Mair Agency.
3:47 – Tiger for birdie and share of the lead. Not an easy one. He will tap in for par.
3:46 – Par 5 finishing hole at East Lake. This is going to be entertaining come Sunday. Rickie hits it down the middle and he will go for it in two. Rory will not be able to hit a driver on 18. It will likely go in the water at about 335.
3:41 – Phil is playing terrible but holes one out from the bunker to go to +4. He needs to clean up his game. I know exactly wha will do it. Some match play at the Ryder Cup is just what the doctor ordered.
3:36 – Driver out for Tiger on 16. He is in the fairway and has a good angle in.
3:33 – Whew, another inch and Tiger drains that putt. He will tap in for par and remain at -3. Rory rolls it in to join Woods, Koepka and Woodland at -3.
3:30 – Rory with a 349 yard drive with his latest. He hits it to 3 feet and will likely have a birdie there. Driving distance does matter. Brooks Koepka goes to -3 and on behind. Look out!
3:26 – Rickie for birdie on 16. He misses it and will stay at -4. Tiger is one back and has a 145 yard pitching wedge. He hits a very good one. An unlikely birdie but a good shot.
3:22 – Fairway Jesus aims it three foot right on a five foot putt and drains it. These greens are as good as they get. This is exactly why I joined Hope Valley Country Club. Tiger pours one in and goes to -3. He is one back of Rickie.
3:19 – Rory lips one out that should have gone down. Damn, these greens are fast.
3:13 – Projected #1 is Rickie Fowler. We will hear “projections” for the next four days.
3:12 – Tiger Woods on #14 tee. A long par 4. He needs a good one. He hits a great one.
3:08 – Tiger hits a long bunker shot quite well. That said, he still has 6 foot, downhill, for par. This is not an easy putt. Tiger rolls it in and saves par. That is an amazing sandy.
3:04 – Back from lunch and Tiger is in the rough. He is going low, under the limbs and finds the right greenside bunker. He is -2. Rory looks like he is going to take a bogey on the hole he is on. Rory almost drains a long one but will take a bogey as it lips out. I take that back. Rory takes a double bogey there. Rickie is now the leader at -4.
2:23 – Tiger and Fairway Jesus save par at #9. Time for me to go grab some lunch. I will be back in an hour. Enjoy the time away. Wait, another car commercial. This time it is a 2019 Nissan 370z. Smooth looking ride.
2:22 – Welcome to bermuda grain in front of the green Rory. I have lived it for the last year at Hope Valley. This chip shots are so difficult. I have learned to use a 9 iron or 8 iron and just bump it.
2:21 – First mention of “who can win”. I’m surprised it took this long.
2:18 – The 9th hole is a par 3. the old 18th. Fairway Jesus is very short. In the fairway though. It plays 216 and Fleetwood tried to hit a 6. Tiger is hitting a 5 iron. He too is short, in the bunker.
2:15 – Tiger with a very tough putt and misses it on the right edge. A good putt though. He is still -1 with Rory at -4.
2:14 – Rory with the drive on #8. He absolutely destroys that one but it does stay in the rough. He carried the bunker. Unreal.
2:10 – Tiger hits a very good shot on 8 even though he didn’t like it. It will be a downhill slider but a good shot, nonetheless. Fairway Jesus is, well, in the fairway.
2:07 – Rory smashes a drive 363 yards. Granted, it was downhill, but still.
2:05 – Tiger tee shot at 8 is perfect. No water concerns for Tiger as he hits a power fade.
1:57 – Rory runs another birdie putt in to go to -4. He is two shots up.
1:56 – Tiger with a very tough shot here. He tries to hit of low off the pine straw and gets it on the green. That was a remarkable shot.
1:52 – Justin Thomas did exactly what Tiger did on #1 with a three put bogey.
1:50 – Rory is hitting an iron into #6. He is in the rough to the right of the green. Tiger pushes his tee shot right, into the crown, on hole #7.
1:48 – They are discussing the changes to the FedEx Cup next year. There will be three tournaments and the final will start with the leaders “ahead” of the other players. The FedEx Cup Champion will get $15 million in 2019.
1:44 – Tiger hits a terrible chip out of the bermuda rough. He will have over 15 feet for his birdie after being beside the green in two. He drops the putt for birdie. He absolutely loves fast greens that roll true. Welcome to great Donald Ross bermuda greens.
1:41 – Many more vehicle and financial TV commercials. One for the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee here.
1:39 – Tiger tries to hit a cut 5 wood but does not hit a good one. He is next to the green but in the heavy bermuda rough. Fairway Jesus has 227 left in on the par 5. Let’s see if he can get it on. He is hitting a cut 5 wood as well. He hits a great shot and will have about 30 feet for eagle.
1:38 – Rory missed the fairway on 5. Only 106 yards to the hole though. Likely no spin on this shot. He hits a runner but is well short of the green. Hit it in the fairway today boys.
1:37 – Different format and the Tour Championship will be at the end of August next year. They want to get viewership before football starts.
1:33 – Tiger teeing off at #6. He hits another down the middle. He will be going for this par 5 in two. This one looks exactly like Hope Valley #15.
1:30 – Woods for birdie at 5 and he drains a 25 footer. McIlroy has three birdies in his first four holes. He leads at -3.
1:27 – Fairway Jesus (Tommy Fleetwood) stuffs one in close. Likely a birdie.
1:26 – Rory’s swing is so beautiful. He hits another one inside of 10 feet. Let’s see if he can get the putter going.
1:25 – Tiger has 126 in. Sand iron in and leaves it about 25 feet short. Another ball in the water on #8. That makes it three of four that are wet on that tee.
1:23 – Tiger hits another great drive. The driver has not been an issue recently. Rory rips one about 330 down the middle.
1:21 – Still looking everywhere to find a picture of Justin Thomas’ wrist brace and can’t find one anywhere. I will keep plugging. This is the closest I could find:
1:18 – Tiger misses another one. He will remain at one over through four. Rory gets his second birdie in a row.
1:17 – Looks like hole #8 will be playing difficult today. Leishman puts one in the drink right after his playing competitor did.
1:15 – Justin Thomas has all kinds of stuff going on with his wrist. Not sure I have seen anything quite like that.
1:13 – The change of bentgrass to bermuda. The speed. Ahhh, it is a beautiful thing. All those Donald Ross courses that have gone to bermuda are fantastic. McIlroy hits one within four feet and will likely go two under. Tiger hits one super high and leaves it 15 feet below the hole on #4.
1:08 – Roger Maltie and Bones are on the course. Tiger hits a great drive on #4. I love Rickie’s sage green shirt today. I wish Under Armour made one that color.
1:07 – Tiger misses the putt on #3 by inches. He remains at one over. Rory rolls one in and goes one under.
1:06 – Plenty of TV commercials for vehicles on today’s broadcast. Still waiting to see the one for the 2019 Chevy Equinox.
1:05 – We will also learn more about “urban renewal” dozens of times over the next few days. Wait for it.
1:02 – From the looks of it, greens are rolling about 14 or 14.5. That would be so much fun.
1:00 – Terry Gannon (Go Pack) is calling it on the Golf Channel. Frank Nobilo with Terry. Starting with Tiger’s approach on 3. He hits it to about 10 feet. Wow, these greens look fast. Rory hits a 201 yard 6 iron. No big deal. About 20 feet below the hole. Xander and Rory are playing together.
12:59 – Live coverage starts shortly. Tiger three putted the first green for bogey and had a par on the second hole. Here we go, first mention of the points system.
12:57 – While the Hope Valley Member-Guest roars on, I will be updating the first round of the 2018 Tour Championship. The Over/Under on the number of times we see the “computer calculations” of who can win and where players stand? I saw 88 in the first day. I will try to track it, for the most part.