Golf roundup: Villegas leads Honda Classic by one; Tiger, Rory struggle
TribLIVE Sports Videos
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — With one great shot, Camilo Villegas turned a solid round into his lowest start in more than a year.
Villegas drilled a 3-wood into 8 feet on the par-5 18th hole and made the eagle putt for a 6-under 64.
That gave him a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler, Branden Grace, Graham DeLaet and Robert Streb after the first round of the Honda Classic.
Villegas lost his card last year and is playing on sponsor exemptions.
Defending champion Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods each had a 70 and walked off PGA National with different emotions. Woods was thrilled it wasn't worse. McIlroy was disappointed it wasn't better.
Woods played in the cool, cloudy morning and was in danger of a big number late in his round when he decided to take off his socks and shoes, don rain pants and step into a creek to play a shot half-submerged in the water. Instead of taking a drop that could have led to double bogey, he escaped with par and rallied for a 70.
“I wasn't trying to advance it very far, just make sure I got it back in the fairway and give myself some kind of wedge shot in there, which I did,” Woods said.
McIlroy was 1 under for his day when his wedge from 105 yards sailed over the green, he chipped to just inside 8 feet and took bogey when he missed the putt. It felt even worse coming on the easiest hole at PGA National, which played about a half-shot below par.
“Wasn't the nicest way to finish,” McIlroy said.
In Centurion, South Africa, Darren Fichardt of South Africa birdied the longest par-5 in European Tour history to lead the inaugural Tshwane Open by one stroke after the first round.
Fichardt shot a 7-under-par 65 and was one of three players in the top 24 to need only four shots on the 685-yard fourth hole.
Bjorn Akesson of Sweden was at 66, with six players at 67. Darren Clarke opened with a 69 while Michael Campbell was at 72 and Jose Maria Olazabal at 76.
In Singapore, Spain's Azahara Munoz shot a 7-under 65 for a two-stroke lead after the first round of the HSBC Women's Champions, which features 17 of the top 20 LPGA players.
Munoz played in the day's first group and finished with seven birdies.
Paula Creamer, who won the 2010 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, was in a four-way tie at 68 despite an injured right shoulder from a car accident. The five-car accident happened on the way to the airport after the Honda LPGA tournament in Thailand.
Two other players, Ai Miyazato and Suzann Pettersen, sustained minor injuries in the crash. Miyazato pulled out of the HSBC Champions on Wednesday, citing stiffness in her back, neck and shoulder.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt set to hire Michigan State’s Narduzzi as coach
- 1 dead in Penn Hills house fire
- Starkey: Steelers have only one goal
- Ex-Penguin Orpik: It was time for change
- Former Army Ranger learns Steelers Way
- Washington County pipeline station closed because of fire
- Ex-Steeler Russell tackles big problem for little ones
- Christmas customs fade as family dynamics evolve
- Steelers notebook: LeBeau says Timmons deserving of accolades
- Watchdogs call for better transparency of nonprofits’ IRS filings
- Pittsburgh police officer’s daughter helps homeless on Christmas Eve