Woods shot a 67 that included an eagle on the 605-yard 14th hole which was playing into the wind. His second shot was a fairway wood from approximately 280 yards that, according to Medinah head pro Mike Scully, landed like a feather.
It was an especially busy day for Scully. But then theyre all busy days right now for the former NFL offensive lineman. This is because the PGA Championship comes to Medinah the week after next.
When I asked Scully Tuesday when his next day off was, he answered quickly. December, he said.
But there was no whine in his voice. Scully is one of those people who strikes you immediately as the can do type. He also strikes you as the kind of guy youd like to have your money riding on if the place was a tavern and the event was arm-wrestling.
Anyway, when Woods showed up without regular caddie Steve Williams, Scully was ready. He assigned one his assistant professionals to loop for Woods. And he stopped out and spent some time with Woods and Steinberg as well.
We talked about local knowledge on the greens and about some of the grasses, Scully said. But, he added, most of what Tiger wanted to talk about had nothing to do with golf.
Part of that is because thats the way Tiger is. And part of that is because Woods knows Medinah. He won his second major there when the PGA Championship last convened there in 1999.
When Phil Mickelson visited Medinah the Monday before the Western Open a month ago, Scully played with him. Mickelson shot 66. Mickelson, Scully told me, is due for another visit sometime in the next week to 10 days.
Already this year Luke Donald and Zach Johnson have visited and played Medinah. Steve Stricker was there Tuesday; Tom Pernice Monday.
I dont tell these guys they have to play with me, Scully said. But if they ask, I go. What I wont do is try to tell Tiger Woods something about his swing.
Smart guy, Scully.
Last year Mickelson spent more than seven hours at Baltusrol with that clubs pro, Doug Steffen, prior to the PGA Championship that Mickelson would eventually win. The rest of the golf world took notice.
But obviously Scully cant spend seven hours with everybody in the field at the PGA. Is it a trend? Scully said of Mickelson modus operandi. Maybe a little bit more.
Scully was most proud of the security for Woods visit. He set up several check points. And the golf course stayed amazingly empty during Woods round.
That, of course, will all change two weeks from Thursday. Woods and Mickelson will be playing in the same grouping Thursday and Friday. The preparation will have been completed.
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