SiriusXM PGA TOUR Network Analyst John Maginnes is in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL this week for THE PLAYERS. Maginnes followed Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, and Hunter Mahan on Friday and watching Tiger, he saw an intensity in Tiger that he had not seen for a while. Tiger was determined to go out and play well in order to make the cut and his score of 68 was the highest score he could have shot.
TPC Sawgrass punishes bad shots and even so-so shots more than most courses that are on the PGA TOUR. On the 5th hole, Tiger hit a pretty good shot but was in a difficult spot where he actually put a scare into viewers as they thought he hurt himself again. In fact, Tiger only broke a shoelace on one of his shoes which Tiger replaced.
Both Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler had streaks of four consecutive birdies on Friday but in Maginnes’ opinion, Tiger’s streak was more impressive because Tiger needed those birdies to make the cut while Fowler was able to improve an already good position with his birdies.
Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler are both very likable and Maginnes hopes that they continue to be that way as their stars continue to rise. Both of them are very open in their comments to the press and Maginnes acknowledged that players who are nice to the press tend to receive more positive coverage on occasions from those same members of the press.
Tiger hit a layup shot for his second on the 16th from the trees and it was a very smart move. He was hitting from the pine straw and he was in a position where he needed to hit a great shot and he did exactly that. That shot was an example of Tiger’s ability and an example of Pete Dye’s design.
With Tiger and all of the young guns, Phil Mickelson is actually a bit under the radar even in a week where he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. The reduced level of attention can only help someone like Phil who is very busy every week with many different obligations.