Game times always a different story, Woods said after his practice round at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Hopefully, I can feel good enough to where I can have enough energy for all 18 holes and all six-hours-plus of it.
Woods battled a 103-degree fever in playing only nine holes at Spyglass Hill Tuesday. He was supposed to receive his Player of the Year award at the California Golf Writers Association dinner Tuesday night, but stayed home instead. He did, however, collect the PGA Tours 2001 Player of the Year award Wednesday night.
Woods remained in bed throughout Wednesday morning. Even if he had been feeling up to par, he would not have made his scheduled tee time. For the second straight day, frost delayed the start of practice rounds by over two hours.
This could prove to be a huge problem, should it persist - and frost is in the forecast Thursday morning. The Pro-Am features 180 professionals and 180 amateurs. To make the situation more problematic, three courses are in rotation.
Woods is scheduled to tee off in Thursdays first round at 9:10 a.m. PT at Poppy Hills. Woods is partnered with good friend and former college roommate Jerry Chang. The two shared the title for low pro-am team a year ago.
This year, though, Chang is playing to a different handicap.
I think we got gypped this year, we only got two shots. Last year it was three, that was perfect, Woods joked.
Also in the group is five-time Pebble Beach champion Mark OMeara. OMeara is teamed with Irish businessman Dermott Desmond. Desmond made headlines when he paid nearly $1.5 million for a flag from the 18th hole of the 2000 U.S. Open, which was won by Woods at Pebble Beach.
One group behind them will be the foursome of Scott Simpson and Bill Murray, and Jeff Sluman and Mark Grace.
Woods, a native of Southern California who attended nearby Stanford, has an impressive track record at this event. Apart from his pair of triumphs at Pebble Beach (the AT&T and the U.S. Open) in 2000, Woods has also finished second in 1997.
Anytime you come to the peninsula, you always feel pretty good, he said. I used to come down here in college and play the state amateur here. Ive played a lot of golf on this peninsula, and I enjoy coming here every single year.
Not everythings been good on the peninsula, however. He missed the cut in 1998, when he failed to show for the final round, which wasnt completed until the day after the PGA Championship in August due to a washout in February. He tied for 53rd in the rain-shortened event in 1999. And last year, he stepped on the ankle of an overzealous autograph seeker, hyper-extending his knee in the process. He went on to tie for 13th.