ANTALAYA, Turkey – Tiger Woods only had time for little more than half a round on the opening day of the weather-affected Turkish Airlines Open on Thursday, and he'll be playing catch-up to the leaders when play resumes.
Woods was among the majority of players who weren't able to complete their first round after the start was pushed back three hours because the greens had been flooded by a thunder storm. When his round finally started, he did little to put himself in contention, sitting at 1 under after 10 holes following a bogey on No. 9. That left him well behind the leaders, with Paul Casey headlining a trio atop the leaderboard after moving to 7 under through 14 holes at the Colin Montgomerie-designed Maxx Royal course.
Ricardo Gonzalez and Thorbjorn Olesen were the clubhouse leaders after both shot a 6-under 66, with 15 players having completed their round before bad light halted play.
Organizers are planning on an early start Friday to make up for lost time, 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," Woods said. "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."
He struggled with his driver Thursday at the penultimate European Tour event of the season and didn't hit a fairway until the 10th hole. Still, he started by making a four-foot birdie putt on the first hole and then made another birdie at the par-3 eighth.
His playing partner and Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson was at 4 under, while Montgomerie was at even par after 16 holes on the course he designed himself.
Despite his slow start, Woods said Montgomerie had done a nice job with the layout.
"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 and a half 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, incluing Pablo Larrazabal of Spain, were two shots back in the clubhouse.