Paul Casey drops out of lead
Here's why England's Paul Casey has yet to fulfill what so many have described as his great promise as a future major champion. Cruising along at -2, Casey left himself a 4-footer for par on No. 9 and pulled it badly for a bogey to drop out of the lead.
Contrast that with Tiger Woods at the eighth hole. Putting from below the cup, Woods made a bold run at birdie and ran his putt six feet past. His putt coming back was just as firm with no trace of nerves, and it hit the center to keep him at even par. Do that once or twice a round, and it adds up.
For the moment, unknown Brendon De Jonge has taken the solo lead at -3 through nine holes, and Heath Slocum is by himself in second at -2. But Ernie Els at -1 and Woods are commanding the attention as they tee off on No. 9. Both have been very solid. That's a bit unexpected from Woods, who was said to be spraying shots all over the place in his practice rounds. No sooner did I type that than Woods pulled his drive off the ninth tee into fairly deep rough on the 505-yard par 4. It's going to be tough to keep his streak of eight straight greens in regulation going here -- but he did it with a powerful swing that landed his ball short and let it run onto the green. Very impressive.