Date: September 07, 2018
Author: Martin Blake

Tiger fires, Day hangs tough in Philly


Tiger Woods used an old faithful putter and tore the course up, but three of the Australians struggled on the first day of the BMW Championship, the penultimate tournament of the United States PGA Tour playoffs in Philadelphia.

Woods, the former world No. 1 who has been making steady progress since his return from spinal fusion surgery, put his trusty Scotty Cameron Newport putter back in the bag, the third consecutive week that he has made a change of short club.

He then shot 62 at Aronimink Golf Club, his best round since returning to golf, and at eight-under is tied for the lead with Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland.

Jason Day was the best of the Australians, carding a three-under 67 to be five off the pace. But Cameron Smith (71), Adam Scott and Marc Leishman (both 74) did not fire.

Smith and Day are safely into the field for the Tour Championship in Atlanta but Leishman and Scott are currently projected to miss out. In the non-cut event contested by 69 professionals, they need to get a move on over the next three days.

Woods has won 13 of his 14 majors with the Cameron putter, and it came out of the garage for this week with such success that he only needed 27 hits with it. He is not in position to challenge for his first tournament victory  since 2013.

“I’ve hit millions of putts with it,” Woods said later. “I know the release point and I know how it swings.”

McIlroy was even hotter for a time, threating to shoot a 59 until he made a bogey at the short par-four seventh hole, his 16th of the round.