While Pebble Beach, as ever, looked at its immaculate best, the demons in the links layout would create a string of early problems for most of the field. The impossibly thick rough punished anything wayward from the tee; approach shots needed to be hit with deadly precision to hold the course’s small and concrete-like greens.
As such, three-putts would become a common and repetitive issue for the mere mortals.
It wouldn’t pass a drugs test. [Commenting on Pebble Beach’s rough following the opening round.]
Three years earlier, Woods had of course butchered Augusta National on his way to a record 12-shot victory in the US Masters. But such are Augusta’s relatively wide fairways that a repeat – or anything approaching a similar margin of victory – seemed distant at PebbleBeach.
Still, Woods’ brilliance throughout the opening round saw him head the field with a Thursday-low 65. For those who watched on, they could have been forgiven for thinking one man was playing a different course. He wasn’t. But he was playing a different game.
John Garrity, Sports Illustrated
On the Thursday afternoon the Monterey fog rolled over the course and forced a suspension of play that left Woods with a six-under-par 65 and the rest of the field with 4am wake-up calls.