Woods gets feet wet, four shots back of early Honda lead

Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:36pm EST
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By Simon Evans

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida (Reuters) - Tiger Woods had his bare feet in water to save par en route to an even-par 70 in the opening round of the Honda Classic on Thursday that left him four shots back of the clubhouse leaders.

The 14-times major winner, who started on the back nine at PGA National, got off to a rough start with bogeys on his first and fourth holes but recovered with two birdies on the back nine in unusually chilly and overcast conditions for Florida.

Boo Weekley, Sean O'Hair, Dustin Johnson and shared the early clubhouse league with four-under rounds of 66.

Woods, wearing a pullover, bogeyed the par-four 10th hole and added another at the par-four 13th before recovering with a birdie on the par-five third hole.

On the par-four sixth, Woods hooked his tee shot into the water hazard but managed to save par after going bare foot, putting on his rain pants and playing out of the water.

"It was only half submerged so I could play some sort of explosion shot and get it back in the fairway," said Woods, who used a nine-iron out of the water.

"I wasn't trying to advance it very far just get it back on the fairway and give myself some sort of wedge shot in there - which I did and got up and down."

It might have been uncomfortable for Woods but his decision to get wet saved his round, particularly when he followed the par with a birdie on the par-three seventh.   Continued...

Tiger Woods of the U.S. hits the ball at the 16th tee during first round play in the Honda Classic PGA golf tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Doug Murray