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Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 10:43:25 AM
Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 10:43:39 AM
by larry fine
Tiger Woods of the U.S. is seen on the 16th green during the first round of the Barclays PGA golf tournament in Jersey City, New Jersey August 22, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger
JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (Reuters) - The New York metropolitan area is known for stop-and-go traffic but Thursday at The Barclays was an extreme case for Tiger Woods and the other 122 golfers in the opening event of the FedExCup playoffs.
Weather delays stalled play twice for a total delay of more than six hours, making for a very long day for the early starters in the first round.
Woods, who complained of neck and back aches after sleeping on a soft hotel bed earlier in the week, said he felt the effects despite shooting a four-under 67 that left him just three shots behind clubhouse leader Kevin Stadler.
"I'm actually tired. I got up at four this morning, and I think it took us, from start to finish just under 11 hours for the day. Long day," the world number one told reporters.
"The back was stiff going out on the (last) restart, but it is what it is."
Woods said all the sitting down during the long breaks due to lightning and heavy rains made things worse, but appreciated the hour-long warmup given after the second long delay.
"It's hard to get the timing right, because you want to get (it) right so you get the (physio) treatment and you're out there on the course," said Woods, aiming to end a season that has already brought him five titles with a flourish.
"But then again, you don't want to get treated and sit down and have what you just worked on get all messed up again. So it's trying to get the timing right and trying to communicate with our rules staff and see what's going on."
Woods had birdied three holes in a row when the horn sounded for the second weather delay. After resuming almost four hours later, the American made only one birdie in his last 11 holes.
"It was nice to kind of get that kind of momentum but then we stopped and had a few hours' delay and then get back out there again," said Woods.
"I didn't play the par fives well today. I played them even par. Other than that, I played pretty solid today and I gave myself some looks.
"If I can play the par fives a little better, I would have been higher on the board."
Since he was able to finish his round, Woods was looking forward to an easier day on Friday, when the late starters would have to complete their opening rounds before heading out for the second round.
"Tomorrow will be easy, probably get in maybe six or nine holes, somewhere in there," said Woods.
"But Saturday is going to be the really long one (for me). We are going to get in probably 27‑plus (holes) probably ... and then be fresh come Sunday."
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