Tiger Woods had to get his feet wet to save par en route to a level-par 70 in the opening round of the Honda Classic, leaving him four shots behind the clubhouse leaders.
Woods, who started on the back nine at PGA National, got off to a rough start with bogeys on his first and fourth holes but recovered with two birdies on the back nine in the unusually chilly and overcast conditions in Florida.
South African Branden Grace and Canada’s Graham DeLaet shared the early clubhouse lead at Palm Beach after five-under-par rounds of 65.
On the par-4 sixth, Woods hooked his tee shot into the water hazard but managed to save par after going barefoot, putting on his waterproof trousers and playing out.
“It was only half submerged so I could play some sort of explosion shot and get it back in the fairway,” said Woods. “I wasn’t trying to advance it very far just get it back on the fairway and give myself some sort of wedge shot – which I did.”
It might have been uncomfortable for Woods but his decision to get wet saved his round, particularly when he followed the par with a birdie on the par-three seventh. “If I didn’t get that up-and-down, I am looking at a six, three-over, and all of a sudden I flip it, make par there and birdie the next,” said Woods.