Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods were both up to making history at the US PGA Championship. While Stricker could be related to a win that only got better with age, Woods kept hacking at his own foot and in the process shot his worst score in a Major.
Stricker had a chance to make history at the final hole had he sunk a 10-foot birdie putt but sadly the 44-year-old missed his chance. If Stricker had pulled off the birdie putt then he would have become the first player to shoot a 62 in a major championship. Nonetheless, Stricker was still exuberant finishing with a 7-under score at 63 in the opening-round at Atlanta Athletic Club.
In his post match press release Stricker commented on the incident saying, “I realized it was for 62 but didn't realize it was for history.” He continued, “I hit a good putt. It just didn't go in. All in all, a good day.”
On the other side of the course Woods flew off to an amazing start but was unable to carry the momentum through the course. This tournament is Woods’ comeback to golf after a 3 month long absence due to a knee injury. The 35-year-old has failed to win a Major since 2007 and cap silverware since 2009. Nevertheless, Woods is still searching for more titles having declared to break all records before he retires.
Woods finished the day carding a 77 and making fans wonder if the former world number one was ever going to acquire his 15th Major title. Now, Woods is also in doubt of playing in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Woods current ranking is 129th however he has to finish at least at the 20th spot if he wants to evade the Barclays.
Stricker will most probably be in the spotlight for the whole tournament. Even critics were impressed by his talents when he proved how to go low by keeping the ball in the fairway. Stricker got through the rough back nine with a 5-under 30. He then played a bogey-free round which left him two shots ahead of Jerry Kelly and Co. who were leading the morning proceedings.
Stricker commented on his performance by stating, “I really had no expectations coming into today's round. I didn't make too many birdies the first three days during the practice rounds. I got off to a good start, and it kind of got me going.”
Analysts predict Stricker’s good form to continue on the course. This was the 11th time a player has shot 63 in the year's final major. Ironically, as a whole this was the 25th time this had happened.