PALM BEACH GARDENS - The Sunrise Course at Mirasol, the Honda Classic's fifth site in the past 10 years, has players fretting before the tournament even starts.
"I think at the end of the week you're going to see a lot more guys spent than guys having fun," Fred Couples said Wednesday.
During a practice round, defending champion Justin Leonard hit a tee shot about 10 feet to the right of the flag. It trickled to the right, then disappeared. A few seconds later, and about 15 yards away, the ball emerged from behind a mound and kept rolling.
Jeff Sluman hit a 4-iron to a front pin on the par-3 eighth. It landed 20 feet to the right, but went down a steep slope into the rough. He hit what he thought was a good chip, only to see the ball roll slowly past the hole and some 30 feet off the green.
"It's in fantastic shape. It's just very, very hard," Couples said.
Most guys didn't want to say anything about the course, perhaps for fear of getting a letter informing them of a fine for disparaging comments. "Are we off the record?" was a popular refrain before today's opening round.
WOODS ENTERS: Tiger Woods made his entry in next week's Bay Hill Invitational official Wednesday, giving the Orlando tournament the Nos. 2-4 players.
LAS VEGAS ANGEL: A private sponsor, Helen Morton, has pledged $5-million over three years to help keep the Las Vegas Invitational on the PGA Tour schedule. She already has committed $1.5-million to this year's tournament, set for Oct. 6-10.