The scene is nearly as outdated because the Royal & Historical recreation. Two pals meet on the membership on a summer time morning for a quiet spherical of golf. They play properly at instances, poorly at instances and each suppose their scores ought to have been higher. After which they order just a few hamburgers and sit down at a picnic desk to eat lunch and share just a few laughs. On Saturday, this was Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
They’re two of the largest names in golf. Nobody has been No. 1 on the planet longer than them over the past 20 years. They draw the most important galleries wherever they play.
That’s what made this event at The Northern Belief so eerie, even when it’s now widespread. There was nobody there to observe apart from these in a working capability — digicam crew, a half-dozen writers, photographers, Norton cops on bikes, just a few volunteers on every gap.
Think about with the ability to stroll round with two of golf’s greatest for what felt like an off-the-cuff spherical of golf. Of their case, it additionally regarded like an off-the-cuff spherical.
Woods used his putter to go over a steep slope from behind the 18th inexperienced, and he made a 6-footer coming again to finish with a birdie. It was this third of the day, not sufficient to account for the 5 bogeys in his 2-over 73. Most uncommon about this spherical is that he didn’t break par regardless of hitting 12 of 14 fairways.
McIlroy two-putted for birdie on the 18th, his fourth birdie in his spherical of 74. There was no recovering from two triple bogeys on his opening six holes. McIlroy began with a brief birdie on No. 1, and he hit a magnificence to 10 toes on the par-Three third gap with the pin tucked behind a bunker.
In between, he got here up simply wanting the inexperienced on the par-5 second, the ball barely contained in the hazard. He tried to chip out, however McIlroy caught an excessive amount of grass from an ungainly stance and a foul lie. The ball went behind him into water, and since it was a yellow hazard, he had to return 110 yards to the green. He made triple bogey.
The scorecard learn 3-8-2.
McIlroy was overheard saying his card learn like an space code. That quantity hasn’t been assigned an space code in the USA, although he is likely to be to realize it’s the nation code for Montenegro.
There was no time to share this pertinent data. Woods and McIlroy each opted to not communicate to the media after their rounds, common this late within the season within the third spherical of a event wherein they have been out of rivalry.
They did go to the media middle, however solely to order hamburgers on the kiosk — it’s been a well-liked all week — seize a seat at a picnic desk and chat for the following 30 minutes, undisturbed.
It’s a reminder of golf on the highest degree whereas dealing with a pandemic. No spectators have been allowed at any event because it returned two months in the past. Gamers are used to it by now, and a few have talked concerning the ease of getting round with out a lot visitors and distraction.
However there’s no vitality, and that’s no enjoyable, both.
Birdies or bogeys, and even the pair of triple bogeys belonging to McIlroy, all get the identical response. Everyone seems to be enjoying in the identical setting, however some gamers — Woods and McIlroy are good examples — have talked about drawing from the noise, changing the cheers of a birdie into some momentum.
The TPC Boston did have three spectators, one in all them shouting after Woods teed off on the par-5 seventh in such a means that some folks don’t miss the followers in any respect.
“YOU’RE THE MAN, TIGER!” got here the voice out of nowhere.
Three males had lower by way of the thick woods and located a spot — simply contained in the crimson hazard line — some 50 yards behind the seventh tee, subsequent to a small pond. McIlroy hit subsequent, after which officers regarded across the bushes to seek out the supply of the yell and approached the boys, all sitting in garden chairs.
It seemed to be a pleasing dialog, and the boys packed up their chairs and left.
They noticed Woods and McIlroy hit drives on a par 5. Higher than nothing.