My brother Roz was at the course today and followed Michael all day. Here's his report to me on what it was like:
I have no idea what was on TV but there was a camera filming every shot of the day. Big crowd following early but as he fell down the leaderboard the gallery got smaller and it was easier to follow. The course has some crazy cross-overs between holes so it was sort of hard to keep up with the group at points.
Michael said that the greens were super hard. You had to land the ball up to 20 or 30 yards short of the green on some shots to get the ball to stop on the green. At the end of the day there were a lot of spike marks that made getting the ball on the line he wanted difficult.
You wouldn't believe how fast these greens are. I don't think TV does the slopes justice. There were putts that Michael barely touched that traveled 20+ feet and well past the hole. The double bogey on 18 comes to mind.
Michael played the tough stretch of 1-6 at 1 over par. He had two bogeys and both were 3 putts. He missed some fairways in this stretch but I think he hit all of the greens in regulation.
The birdie at the last was definitely a confidence booster. Michael was very upbeat after the round and said the course was "ridiculously difficult". He said it played completely different from day 1. That might be a result of playing in the afternoon. Don't know if they showed it but his tee shot on 8 looked like it ended up about 3 feet from the hole. Even that putt Michael said was difficult because it was down hill side slope and there were a lot of spike marks in his line. He decided to hit it firm. He also told his caddie, Mattie Lou that he was going to celebrate if he made the putt - thus the happy dance at the end of the round. It was funny because it was out of character for Michael but I think it showed he was having fun.If you blinked, you would have missed the celebration, so here's the clip.