US PGA Tiger Woods World Challenge, Nick Watney Leads

Nick Watney leads the US PGA Tiger Woods World Challenge, presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks  in California. Nick leads the event by two shots, after his opening round of -5 under par, 67.

Watney stays hot

Nick Watney / Dunn / Getty Images

Nick is ahead of Keegan Bradley, Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk, who are all at -3 under par, after their rounds of 69.  Graeme McDowell is just one of thirteen Ryder Cup Players who are contesting in this event, making a very strong field indeed. Tiger Woods is in the group at -2 under par 70, he is in good company with Bo Van Pelt and Webb Simpson both on the same score. There are three players at -1 under par, they are Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan and Aussie Jason Day. Everybody else is over par, the last player on the board is Brandt Snedeker at +3 over par.

Nick shot a round of  80 in the final round in 2010 and then finished last in the 18-player field last year at Tiger Woods’ World Challenge, he said about today;

“I figured since Tiger is nice enough to invite me, I might as well prepare and try to play well. I’m a little better prepared than I have been coming in here. I’ve come in the past two years pretty rusty, hadn’t been doing much work. This tournament’s definitely not as serious or as cut-throat, maybe, but I think when Sunday comes, we’re all very competitive people. If we’re tied going to the last hole, we definitely want to beat the other guy. Winning this event would be an honor. The list of champions is pretty strong. I think everybody comes here wanting to win even though it’s during the holiday season and all that stuff. I’m trying to use it to prepare for next season, and winning never gets old, so that’s the goal.”

Keegan Bradley said he had played solidly all day,

“I did have a bad break on the last hole, but I played so solidly all day.  The drive on No. 18 was literally resting up against a root, and then just to the right of it was a rock. You know, it was a bad break, but also if it didn’t hit that root it probably would have rolled all the way back down that hill toward the ninth fairway.”

Tiger admitted he did not play to the best of his abilities;

“”I didn’t hit it very good, it was nice to scrape out a good score. I could have easily shot myself out of the tournament, but I kept myself in it.”

Tomorrow is another day, and tournament host Tiger Woods will be keen to assert his authority.