Tiger Woods in contention after firing opening round 69 at Bay Hill

Jonathan Wall
March 22, 2012

It was the kind of opening round that should've had Tiger Woods smiling and feeling good about his prospects for the rest of the week. But when Woods walked off the course to discuss his 3-under 69, he didn't sound like a guy who was impressed with just getting in the mix at Bay Hill.

Woods called the round "just one of those days where not a lot [was] going on." To be honest, he was correct to call his round nothing special; it was a mixture of good moments that included back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16, and a couple of not-so-good ones, including two three-putts and a whopping 32 putts for the round (averaging 2 putts per GIR).

Even still, Woods was able to put himself in a great spot just three back of the lead. It'd be easy to nitpick and point at his lack of success with the putter as a potential problem, but we've done that in the past.

We've seen Woods' putter go from hot to cold multiple times; the same can be said for pretty much his entire game. At this point it's not worth looking into a crystal ball and trying to predict what Woods is going to do tomorrow. But if there's on thing that makes you believe he could be onto something, it's that his ordinary rounds are starting to look, well, not so ordinary.

[ Related: Anthony Kim relevant after firing 69 ]

That's definitely a positive. As Woods continues his quest to put everything together on the course, we're starting to see small glimpses of a more confident Tiger Woods -- a guy who continues to look comfortable with his game and his swing with each competitive round he logs.

Now that may not equal a "W" this week or at the Masters, but the more Woods continues to put together solid rounds when he's not at his absolute best, the more often he'll find himself in contention at tournaments. Consider this another step in the right direction for Woods' ever-improving game.

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