Woods likes what he sees in Melbourne

The Tiger Woods show rolled into Kingston Heath this morning and the 5000 or so fans who were at the course to witness his first look at the famed layout may have been the lucky ones this week.

Their numbers, while large given that this was just a practice round, may well pale in comparison to the masses who have paid the $44 - $49 to attend over each of the next few days. For those lucky enough to have been part of that gallery, they will forever remember the time they saw Tiger Woods for the first occasion and may have been blessed with their best opportunity of the week to see him in action.

Woods played nine holes and then appeared before a packed media conference to answer the questions he no doubt fields every time he plays in a country for, in this case, the first time in several years. He paid tribute the Australian golfing fans, impressed by what he had experienced of the knowledge and respect he was paid by those present.

"I was telling the guys today it's unbelievable how nice the people are here and how understanding they are of the game of golf. That's the biggest difference that I've seen. I've played all around the world. Here and obviously Scotland when we get a chance to play there for the Open Championship, the knowledge that people have, they know what a good shot is, and I think that's the cool part about playing in front of people who understand the game of golf."

He indicated the size of the crowd was something very unusual other than perhaps in major championships and seemed genuinely surprised by the hype he was generating so early in the week.

Woods played nine holes with Craig Parry and had Ian Baker-Finch as both an interested spectator and advisor. Baker-Finch and Parry both gave Woods their thoughts on some of the subtleties of Kingston Heath and, in his own words, where Woods should consider missing the green if needed.

"I only played the back nine today," said Woods after his round. "I hit driver a few times, but again it (as to how much he will use the driver) is all dependent on weather, and wind and which way it's coming from."

"I got a chance to play with Paz today, which was great. He was giving me a little bit of insight of how to play certain holes and where certain pins might be. It was certainly very helpful. The greens are obviously pretty soft as of right now because it's so hot they're trying to save them for the tournament. This golf course is a great example of a course not needing to be 7,500 yards to be a strong test."

"But (it's an) unbelievable golf course. As I've always said, always admitted to, I always have been a huge fan of the sandbelt golf courses. The bunkering is just phenomenal. You never get a chance to see bunkering like this in any other place in the world. I always love coming down here and playing these golf courses. It's a treat to see how these golf courses - you don't need a golf course that is 7,500 yards for it to be hard. You can just build it just like this and have it nice and tricky and it's just a treat to play."

Woods has an early tee time in tomorrow's Pro Am where he will play with nominees of Naming Rights Sponsor J.B. Were before teeing it up at 7.30am in the opening round of the event proper on Thursday morning with Rod Pampling and Craig Parry, both previous winners of the event when it was played at the nearby Huntingdale Golf Club.

Want video tips delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to iseekgolf.com newsletters.

iSeekGolf is Australia’s largest golf tee times website.
To book a tee time at an iSeekGolf venue, visit iseekgolf.com/teetimes


More Articles from Bruce Young