IT’S BEEN A WHILE since we saw Vijay Singh on top of a US PGA TOUR leaderboard but the big Fijian certainly his straps in the first round of 2012 Greenbrier Classic.
The 49 year old golfer shot his best round in four years to take a one stroke lead over another “oldie” in 48 year old American Jeff Maggert.
Singh made six birdies on the back nine – four straight coming home – to sign for a 7-under 63 at the Old White TPC golf course in West Virginia.
“Gosh, I don’t know where that came from,” the winner of 34 TOUR victories said. “I’ve been playing pretty good golf for a while, but just never got any scoring going. But today seemed I hit it close and drove the ball really well, hit a lot of greens and made some nice putts.”
Singh hasn’t had a win on the tour for four years and will actually be eligible for the Champions Tour next February.
“Hopefully it keeps going,” Singh said of his round. “I don’t feel tired. I feel really energized. I’ve been working really hard on my game, so it’s nice to see something happen.”
Maggert was at 6-under sharing second with “youngsters” Jonathan Byrd and Martin Flores.
“I feel really comfortable here,” Maggert said. “There’s a lot of guys out here in their 40s, late 40s, that can really play some good golf still. So it’s not surprising to see some of the old guys up on the leaderboard.”
Tournament favourite Tiger Woods was eight shots behind Singh and with 31 putts said he was having trouble with the comparative slowness of the greens.
“I was a little bit off with my game, and on top of that I didn’t have the speed of these greens at all,” Woods said. “I missed literally every single putt high today.”
JB Holmes, US Open champion Webb Simpson, Argentina’s Andres Romero and South Africa’s Garth Mulroy were on the third rung of the leaderboard on 5-under while Phil Mickelson matched Woods with a 1-over 71.
Gavin Coles (68) was the best placed Aussie on 2-under while Rod Pampling (69) was a stroke further back and Marc Leishman and Matt Jones were on even.
Also on even and beating the likes of Woods and Mickelson was golfing veteran Tom Watson.2012 Greenbrier Classic Leaderboard