02/14/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/14/2020 21:30
'You're never quite sure coming off eight weeks how it's going to feel, but I was really hitting the ball out of the middle of the club,' Scott said. 'That gave me a bit of confidence to just kind of keep doing what I'm doing and it'll all fall into place rather than go in search for what I'm doing wrong.'
Woods didn't have to search long to figure out his errors.
He started well enough with a smart choice to hit iron on the reachable par-4 10th because of the back right pin position, a wedge into about 12 feet and a birdie. And he was never in too much trouble. The 15th hole did not appear to present any problems, especially after Woods crushed a 335-yard drive to the middle of the fairway.
He hung his head immediately after a chunked pitching wedge that plugged into the bunker short of the green, leaving no shot to a front pin. He blasted that through the green, chipped back to 7 feet and missed putt for double bogey.
'I just hit it fat,' he said. 'Honestly, I was just trying to cut a little wedge in there and get it up in the air.'
After two birdies on the par 5s around the turn -- Nos. 17 and 1 -- Woods gave away another shot with sand wedge from light rough into the front bunker on No. 3 for bogey. He bogeyed the par-3 fourth, and then he three-putted from about 50 feet up the slope on the par-3 sixth.
Johnson, who won big at Riviera three years ago, bounced back from his opening 72 with a 66 and was among those five shots behind. Brooks Koepka had a 73 and was nine shots behind.
Justin Thomas opened with a 74 and never got anything going in the morning. He didn't make a birdie until his 16th hole and shot 71, missing the cut for the second time in his last three starts. Phil Mickelson, coming off a pair of third-place finishes in Saudi Arabia and Pebble Beach, shot 74 and missed the cut for the third time this year.