By BOB HARIG
© St. Petersburg Times,
published October 19, 2001
LAKE BUENA VISTA -- His first tournament in five weeks was about what you would expect, even for the best golfer in the world. Tiger Woods appeared rusty during the first round of the National Car Rental Golf Classic.
Woods shot 3-under-par 69 on the Palm course at the Walt Disney World Resort, the easier of the two used for the tournament. Woods plays the Magnolia today. All players who make the cut play the final 36 holes on the Magnolia.
"I did not hit the ball very well at all," said Woods, who had six birdies, a bogey and a double bogey. "Obviously I am not very pleased there. I am not very proud, but I scored. It is my first tournament back in a while. I shot a half decent score so it is not that bad.
"If anything, you figure you would be hitting the ball halfway decent. The last thing that would come around would be your touch. But I chipped the ball and made a lot of putts. I just never got the ball close enough."
Woods was only four shots behind five co-leaders: Steve Lowery, Stewart Cink, Scott McCarron, Len Mattiace and Shaun Micheel. But he was tied for 31st.
DALY A NO-SHOW: John Daly did not show up for his tee time Thursday and was disqualified. But apparently there are no extenuating circumstances for the often-troubled golfer. Daly told PGA Tour officials he did not intend to play and that he thought his agent had called to say he had withdrawn earlier in the week.
Daly is having an excellent season. He has gone from 507th in the world rankings to 52nd. He won a tournament in Germany, his first since the 1995 British Open, and has four top 10s on the PGA Tour. He elected to take the week off.
Chad Campbell, who recently was promoted to the PGA Tour after winning three Buy.com Tour events, took Daly's spot in the field. He shot 72.