WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?

June 4 — With Tiger Woods set to tee off early in Friday’s second round of the Memorial Tournament, the struggling golf ace had some work to do to keep Phil Mickelson from grabbing his world’s top ranking.
As Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, and Geoff Ogilvy each shot a 7-under 65 to share the lead heading into Friday, Woods and Mickelson appeared to be going in opposite directions from each other.
Mickelson turned in a 5-under 67 and was in a fourth-place logjam with four other players. As for Woods, well, he just could not get anything going. In fact, he started out with a bogey on the first and carded another on the sixth.
Even-par. With back-to-back birdies on nine and 10, it looked as if Woods might get on one of his Tiger rolls. But it was not to be, as he made par on the remaining eight holes.
Maybe it was the two-hour rain delay before his afternoon tee time. Or, perhaps, he has yet to shake off the rust from his sex scandal-inflicted hiatus or his recent neck injury-related layoff.
Rust-Oleum. In any case, perhaps Tiger should have replaced his swing coach with some Rust-Oleum. At even-par for the opening round and seven shots off the lead, Woods just couldn’t put the ball where he wanted it to go.
Take the 14th hole. With 114 yards to the flag, Tiger hit a wedge shot that looked perfect until it spun back down the slope of the green, leaving a long birdie putt. Meanwhile, the other guys in his threesome, Steve Stricker and Jason Bohn, hit their shots pin high and each converted for a birdie.
Scrambling 72. Woods clearly struggled today, hitting only seven fairways and 10 greens in regulation. As he prepared for round two, Woods was one stroke above the projected cut line.
“The wedges were horrible today,” Woods said to reporters.  “Hey, I hit some shots today that I haven’t hit all year either. The solidness of shaped shots, the trajectory. I haven’t hit that all year.”
Lefty, not so much. In a flawless, five-birdie round, Mickelson looked nothing like the guy who missed the cut at last week’s Colonial.
Good start. “I’m pleased to shoot 5 under and get off to a good start,” Mickelson told reporters following his day.
Indeed, Mickelson seemed on a mission, telling all who would listen how important it was to him to win “Jack’s” tournament.
“I would dearly love to win here,” Mickelson said prior to Thursday’s first round. “I told Jack how much it would mean to me.”
As for the leaders, Fowler got off to a bit of a rocky start, with a bogey at number two. Six birdies and an eagle-3 (at the par-5 seventh) put him in good position for Friday.
It was his putting that got Fowler going, jarring 16 of 17 putts within 25 feet, according to the PGA Tour.
“When you get a few putts to fall, it can definitely build a lot of confidence,” Fowler said.
New England golfers on tour. New England golfer Tim Petrovic kept up his stellar play of late, posting a 3-under 69 in the first round. Brett Quigley was at 1-under heading into Friday, while Jerry Kelly was at even-par.
Brad Faxon and Kevin Johnson were right on the projected cut line, as each posted a 1-over 73 for the day.

WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?