Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Update from the Tiger-Michael pairing

They were out early, riding shuttle buses into Quail Hollow or walking from well outside the perimeter of the golf course where Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan were playing in the Wachovia Championship Wednesday morning.

Thousands, not hundreds, of people picked a perfect spring morning to get out and watch Woods and Jordan and Charlotte car dealer Skipper Beck play golf.

If they weren’t talking about the sudden release of Panthers wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson - a hot topic in the gallery - they were oohing and ahhing and trying to get in the best spot to see Jordan and Woods spending time together.

The golf wasn’t bad. Woods shot 1-under par on the front nine though he never actually finished the ninth hole. Jordan was a few more over par and Beck was hanging in there.

By the time the group reached the 10th tee, they had played the front nine so fast they had to wait for Trevor Immelman’s group to tee off. Woods chatted with Immelman while Jordan stood near the amateur tees while a clatch of photographers encircled him. Jordan chatted, smiled, swung his driver back and forth.

The 10th hole is nearly 600 yards long and was lined two and three deep from tee to green watching the Woods-Jordan group. Two hours earlier when Adam Scott teed off followed by Phil Mickelson, there were no more than 50 fans around the same tee.

Sergio Garcia and Peyton Manning were on the course, too, a pretty good one-two punch of star power. But even the sun was having trouble matching the glow coming off the Woods-Jordan group.