Tiger Woods, needing a good week to even play in Boston next week, picked a good time to shoot his lowest score of what's been a tumultuous year. Woods opened with a birdie, then closed with a birdie on the 18th hole for a 6 under 65, matching Vaughn Taylor for the early lead at The Barclays, the first of four PGA Tour playoff events.
The 65 is Woods's best score in 2010, one shot better than the third-round 66 he shot at the US Open. It also ended a streak of 11 straight rounds of 70 or higher. There's half the field on the golf course, but if it holds, it will be the first time Woods has led after the conclusion of a round in a PGA Tour event since last year's Tour Championship.
"It's exciting to hit the ball flush like this again. It's something I've been missing all year," Woods said. "It felt good to hit the ball and shape it both ways and really hit it through the wind."
Woods kept driver in the bag most of the day, using 3-wood on most holes at Ridgewood Country Club. The strategy worked: He only missed one fairway, and was putting for birdie on 15 of the 18 holes.
Taylor used a three-birdie stretch on Nos. 13-15, then added another on the 17th.
Ryan Palmer matched the best nine-hole score on the PGA Tour this year, shooting a front-nine 28. He birdied the first five holes, then two more on Nos. 7-8. He double bogeyed the 10th hole, and shot 66. Brian Gay also shot 66.