The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


March 22, 2013

Rose gets hot with the putter to lead Bay Hill


"I kept myself in the tournament," Woods said.

He overwhelmed the par 5s, as he often does at Bay Hill. Woods made birdie with wedges on three of them, and hit a "baby" 9-iron into about 12 feet on the downwind 16th for an eagle. He now has played the par 5s in 118-under par in his 61 rounds.

Rose and Woods played in the morning, the tougher side of the draw because of chilly temperatures in the 50s and a strong breeze. The rough was thick without being terribly high. The hole locations were in spots Woods had not seen very often. The scores were reflective of a challenging morning until Rose and Woods began to pick up the pace on the 16th with their eagle putts.

Woods was tied for the lead at that point, but not for long. On the par-3 17th, he came up short and in a bunker, hit a poor shot and took bogey. Rose holed a 20-foot birdie putt and he was on his way. On the front nine, both made three straight birdies starting on the par-5 fourth. Rose doubled his lead over Woods on the par-3 seventh, however, with a 12-foot birdie putt, and Woods came up short in the bunker and failed to save par.

Given the conditions, a 65 was a superb score — 8.5 shots better than the field average.

How good?

"If you had said I would shoot a 65 on the range this morning, I would have probably said, 'How many holes have I played?' And that didn't change much," Rose said. "The first five, six holes out there were a grind."

Huh looked like he might catch him with a birdie on the par-5 sixth hole (he started on the back) to reach 6-under, but that was his last birdie chance. Huh found a fairway bunker off the tee on the ninth hole and took bogey for a 67.

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