Aaron Baddeley teed off first and played alone, raced around the Stadium Course before Cejka had his first cup of coffee, shot 66 and tied for ninth for the Australian’s first top-10 finish since last year’s BMW Championship.
Tim Clark also put on an early show with a closing 69 that included a 55-foot eagle putt at the 16th to add to what is best described as a rebound year. Following his best year on Tour in 2007 when he finished 22nd in earnings, the South African struggled in ’08 with just three top 10s.
It was a particularly pedestrian year for a player who, after years of battling a neck injury, was finally healthy.
“Last year was tough,” Clark said Sunday at TPC. “I mean I can finally practice again. 2007 was my best year on Tour and I didn’t hit one ball before a tournament. No practice at all.”
Clark said a big key to his turn around has been a new set of Srixon irons he put into play after the Masters. Clark, not one of the longest hitters on Tour, said the new sticks let him hit the ball a club longer and with more accuracy.
Fantasy hawks be aware, the new clubs adhere to the U.S. Golf Association’s dialed-down groove policy that begins on Tour in 2010, which makes a player that was already one of the best at hitting fairways even more worth watching.