Tiger Woods is not known to walk on water, but he had to do just that on Thursday in the opening round of the Honda Open, as he had to take a shot from a water hazard after his ball found its way there on the par-4 sixth hole.
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Woods made a fantastic shot out of the hazard, sending the ball back onto the fairway with his rain pants on, then put it in the hole to save par. Woods finished the day even after some ups and downs, hitting two birdies and two bogeys on the round.
He finished six strokes behind leader Camilo Villegas, who took the lead at the tournament for the first time since winning at the course back in 2010.
"How about that?" Woods asked of his shot from the water left of the sixth fairway. "It was only half submerged, so I could play some kind of explosion shot and get it back in the fairway. I got in there and 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, and I got it up and down."
Woods was forced to take off his shoes and socks and replace them with rain pants to take the shot, getting mud all over his clothes. He was able to sink an eight foot putt to save par and kept his day from getting too far away as the tournament heads into Friday.
"I was 1-over at the time, and if that ball is not playable from where it's at, where I crossed (the hazard) was pretty far back and I would have had to have dropped -- I couldn't even get an angle in the first cut and had to drop in the primary and had to lay up and didn't get that up and down ... I'm looking at a 6, 3 over."
Rory McIlroy continued his slow start to the season, as he also finished even after hitting two birdies and two bogeys. The top ranked player in the world was playing just his fourth round after being knocked out early in Match Play and failing to make the cut Abu Dhabi.
"I only had 105 yards in for my third and ended up taking a 6," he said. "Wasn't the nicest way to finish. I saw enough pretty good golf out there to be positive going into the next few days."
Woods is playing in his fourth tournament already this season after missing the cut at Abu Dhabi as well. He also was knocked out in the first round at match play, but he was able to take home the top prize at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.