Mike Weir shot a 62 to take the first-round lead at the Genuity Championship at Doral Thursday - 'Obviously, it was an exciting day out there,' he said. He shot 29 on the front, followed by a 33 on the back. His prowess, combined with a lazy tropical day and a perfectly groomed course, combined for just one of the day's scorchers.
Glen Day and Stewart Cink shot 64s. At 65, seven-under-par, were Steve Flesch, Davis Love III, Harrison Frazar and K.C. Choi.
'When I arrived on Monday and played my practice round Tuesday, I could not believe how perfect a condition the course is in. The fairways have the best Bermuda I have ever seen. The greens are rolling well. You know there will be good scores. You have to stay patient. I felt like I was patient today,' said Weir.
[More excerpts from Mike Weir's post-round press interview here.]
Weir holed out at No. 3 from 140 yards, then eagled No. 8 with a booming drive and a 4-iron to eight feet. He then added three more birdies on the back, the final at the Blue Monster's signature hole - the 18th - with a drive and a pitching wedge.
'I made a birdie on my first hole, a 15-foot putt there that got me in a rhythm with my putter. That seemed to be the tone for the day. I felt comfortable on the greens. That was the key,' said Weir.
The low score was just one more in a continuation of what has been low scores all year. The Tour moved from the West Coast to the East Coast, but the weather in the mid-80s kept the red-hot fever alive.
'The scoring has been a lot better this year, especially,' said Weir. 'There have been a lot of low numbers, but the weather has to be right. But you still have to put the ball in the hole.'
As evidence, Weir cited Doral's fearsome closing holes.
'On 17, usually it is a good drive,' said Weir. 'I hit a 3-wood and a 9-iron there today. (On 18) I hit a driver and wedge. That usually does not happen.'
Harrison Frazar shot a 65 and felt like he was barely keeping up with the field. Without the wind that Doral has become notorious for, the course was there for the taking.
'I think it is a great golf course,' said Frazar. 'I think it was designed to play tougher with variable winds. If you do not get the wind conditions, it becomes easy to drive your ball.
'When the wind blows, really, all it does is tighten up the fairway. If the wind is not blowing, the fairways are fairly wide, the greens are good, you can make putts.'
Weir shot his score in the morning, leaving half the field 10 shots behind before they had ever hit a shot. Only the strong-willed were able to stay in the passing lane as the golfers laid rubber in all four gears.
'It is like the guys in the afternoon, when they tee off, they look at the board and see how many under, the comfort level is out the window,' said Day.
[More excerpts from Glen Day's post-round press interview here.]
But the key is to maintain your composure, believes Frazar, who was one of the afternoon staters. A morning 62 the first day is only one day's play, not the full 72-hole tournament.
'They will all end up in the same spot,' said Frazar. 'Mike is a world-class player who knows how to win, and I don't mean this as a knock to him. But nobody can keep up with that pace, especially on this golf course.
'It does not matter if the scores start out at 5-under or 6, or 8-under or 10-under. The scores are going to be anywhere from 15- to 25-under-par to win, and you know you have to get there. It is not like 37- or 38-under is going to win.'
See Full-Field scores from the Genuity Championship here.
More Information on the Florida Swing