Exclusive: hole-by-hole highlights of Tiger/Phil group!
PGA.com Junior Editor T.J. Auclair was on the course Friday afternoon with the threesome of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Geoff Ogilvy, and he filed live updates after each hole. Check out his exclusive report from inside the ropes at Medinah.
By T.J. Auclair, Junior Editor
The players arrived on the first tee under very cloudy skies as a light drizzle fell. The atmosphere is definitely more electric today than it was yesterday. Unlike Thursday, Tiger received the biggest cheers when he stepped onto the tee box, which was crammed with fans. Here we go!
Mickelson and Ogilvy each hit driver into the fairway, but Woods pulled his 3-wood left and got a horrible break when his ball kicked left near the hospitality tents and deep into the trees. His ball then hit a spectator and actually ended up much better than it should have. Still, he was forced to punch back into the fairway. Mickelson's second shot stopped 12 feet from the hole and he two-putted for par, and Ogilvy did the same from 15. Woods' third shot from roughly 100 yards stopped 6 feet from the hole, and after a long look, he made the putt to save par.
With the honor, Mickelson hit his tee shot to 40 feet left of the hole. Ogilvy's tee shot ended up a little farther left than Phil's, about 45 feet away. Tiger hit a nice shot to 25 feet. All three players hit
solid first putts that left them with tap-in pars.
All three players found the fairway with fairway wood tee shots. Mickelson's 9-iron approach finished left of the hole, about 30 feet away, while Tiger's 9-iron stopped a little closer, about 18 feet away. Ogilvy, however, hit a lovely approach to 8 feet left of the cup. But after Mickelson and Tiger each missed their birdie attempt, Ogilvy missed a golden opportunity when he powered his putt through the break and missed it left.
Ogilvy carded the first birdie of the day for this group when he hit a drive down the left side of the fairway into the first cut of rough. From a perfect lie, he played a short-iron approach to 5 feet and made the putt to jump one shot ahead of his playing partners. Mickelson, meanwhile, showed why he is the magician that he is. He hit his drive into the left trees but came up with a good lie in the rough. From there he hit an awesome cut shot around some trees just short of the green, played a little pitch to 6 feet above the hole and nailed the putt for a great save. Tiger, after a good drive in the fairway and approach to 25 feet, left his birdie putt short.
Tiger picked up his first birdie of the round in typical Tiger fashion. After Ogilvy and Mickelson each found the fairway with their drives, Tiger lost his to the right and his ball landed in the fairway bunker. As the rain drops began to get bigger, Tiger laid up with a sand wedge in the fairway. Mickelson and Ogilvy both reached this par 5 in two shots, Phil's ball settling some 60 feet left of the hole, Ogilvy's stopping 18 below it. Tiger's third shot sailed over the pin and stopped in the back fringe. After Mickelson left his eagle try 3 feet short, Ogilvy left himself with a tap-in birdie following a nice eagle try. Then Tiger nailed his birdie putt from 15 feet to send the crowd into a roar. The roars turned to gasps seconds later when Lefty lipped out his birdie putt for a disappointing par.
Once again, Mickelson proved to be an amazing escape artist. After flying his tee shot way right some 40 yards from the fairway, Mickelson was in jail amongst some trees. He tried to play a shot through them, but his ball hit one of the trees and went right, stopping next to a tree behind a greenside bunker. He played a pitch some 40 feet past the hole, then canned the putt to send the crown into a frenzy. Tiger also made a nice save after finding the right rough off the tee, punching back into the fairway, hitting an approach from 150 to 12 feet and making the putt. Meanwhile, Ogilvy hit an approach to 10 feet and made the birdie putt, but hardly anyone noticed because of Tiger's and Phil's impressive par saves.
All three players hit driver on this par 5, and all three found the fairway. Tiger took what looked like a couple of aspirin as he walked off the tee. Ogilvy hit a fairway wood second shot just off the back of the green, while Tiger hit a long iron to the middle of the green and Mickelson pulled his fairway wood shot into the bunker after knicking a tree. Phil's blast from the bunker nearly went in, his ball rolling 6 feet past the hole. Ogilvy hit a lovely chip that just rolled by the hole for a tap-in birdie. Tiger's eagle try from 45 feet just missed and he tapped in for his birdie. Next, Mickelson made his putt for birdie and gave a little fist pump.
While Ogilvy and Woods played nice tee shots to within 15 feet of the hole, Mickelson pulled his into the right rough. He pitched to 6 feet short of the hole, then lipped out his par putt to give back a stroke. Ogilvy and Tiger both missed their birdie tries and settled for pars.
It was a reversal of fortunes of sorts here. Mickelson found the fairway with his driver, while Ogilvy and Woods both missed the short grass with fairway woods. Tiger's second shot fell short and left of the green, stopping in the fringe, while Ogilvy hit his to 18 feet left of the cup. Phil hit one of his best shots of the day to 5 feet. After both Ogilvy and Tiger two-putted for pars, Mickelson made his birdie putt as the rain began to taper off a bit.
For the second hole in a row, Mickelson found the fairway with his drive and Ogilvy and Woods did not. From the right rough, Ogilvy laid up in the fairway. Woods tried to hit a fairway wood out of the right rough but fanned it and his ball landed again in the right rough, prompting a chuckle from the world No. 1. Mickelson's fairway wood second shot landed just short and right of the green. Ogilvy played his third to 10 feet, while Tiger's third was too strong and landed over the green and in a bunker. After getting a ruling and receiving a free drop, Mickelson nearly chipped in and tapped in for his second straight birdie. Tiger almost holed his bunker shot but his ball rolled 8 feet past the cup. From there he made par, as did Ogilvy after missing his birdie putt.
While Woods was missing the fairway and finding the right rough, both Mickelson and Ogilvy got lucky breaks with tee shots that hit trees and bounced back into the fairway. Woods and Mickelson went on to make routine pars, but Ogilvy airmailed his approach over the green, then caught his chip thin and sent his ball skidding 60 feet past the hole. From there he two-putted for his first bogey of the round.
This time Woods was the only one to find the fairway, as Mickelson found the left rough and Ogilvy found the right. Phil hit a punch shot short of the green, hit a nice chip and tapped in for par. Ogilvy, however, hit his second straight poor pitch, a chunker into the front fringe some 60 feet from the hole. Two putts later and he had his second straight bogey. Tiger, after hitting a great approach from a downhill, sidehill lie to 7 feet, missed the putt and settled for par.
Ogilvy made up for his back-to-back stumbles in a big way with a big putt. After hitting his tee shot 30 feet right of the hole, the Aussie holed the birdie putt to stop the bleeding. Woods hit a tee shot 25 feet right of the pin and burned the left edge with his birdie attempt. Mickelson gave away a shot when his tee ball landed in the left rough. He tried to play one of his patented flop shots but it flew 40 feet past the hole and he two-putted for bogey.
All three players found the fairway with their driver tee shots, and all three laid up with long irons as the rain began to fall harder than it has all day. Ogilvy and Mickelson played so-so approaches, Ogilvy to 20 feet and Lefty to 22 feet. Tiger, though, played a beauty over the flag that sucked back to within 3 feet of the hole. Ogilvy two-putted for his par before Mickelson canned his long birdie putt, prompting a loud roar from the gallery. Tiger also made his short putt for birdie.
While Woods and Mickelson found the fairway with their tee shots, Ogilvy's landed in the left rough. But that didn't bother the reigning U.S. Open champion. He hit a wonderful shot from a nasty lie to 12 feet and made the putt for an unlikely birdie. Meanwhile, Woods hit an indifferent approach to 30 feet and two-putted for par, while Lefty did the same from 25 feet.
Ogilvy and Woods each put their tee shots in the short grass, but Mickelson pushed his into the left rough and he paid a price. Lefty tried to punch out but his ball only made it to the first cut of rough. From there he hit an approach to 12 feet and two-putted for bogey. Ogilvy and Woods each made two-putt pars, Ogilvy from 30 feet and Tiger from 15 feet.
After Ogilvy hit his tee shot to the back fringe, Tiger put his 40 feet left of pin. Mickelson was not as accurate, sending his tee ball long and right over the green. Once again, he would pay for his sloppiness. With little green to work with and from a tough, tight downhill lie, Lefty chipped 7 feet past the hole and missed the putt for a second straight bogey. Ogilvy and Tiger both made tidy two-putt pars.
Woods and Mickelson both closed with a touch of class. After hitting a 3-wood in the right side of the fairway, Tiger hit a mid-iron to 15 feet behind the hole and, after studying the putt for a long time with caddie Steve Williams, he coaxed the right-to-left curving putt into the cup for birdie and punctuated it with a few hearty fist-pumps. Lefty hit his drive way left into the rough, and from a poor lie hit a terrific short iron over the flag to 12 feet and made the putt for his birdie. The gallery exploded for both birdies. Ogilvy, meanwhile, hit a fairway wood off the tee to the middle of the fairway, placed a long iron approach to 40 feet right of the pin and two-putted for par.