Thomastown, Ireland: Tiger Woods said at the start of the American Express golf championships in Ireland on Thursday that he would rather win the one million dollar top prize at this event than win the Ryder Cup next week. And Tiger put his money where his mouth was by shooting a blistering 7 under par 65 for a one shot lead. Forty-nine of the top 50 golfers in the world could be seen in action at the Mount Juliet course in Ireland. Chris DiMarco, the world number 14, was one of those in red figures with a first day card of 5 under par 67. Former US Open Champion Retief Goosen finished with a 67 as well. Jose Maria Olazabal was also in contention with a 4 under par 68. The Spaniard, however, isn't on the Ryder Cup team. Canada's Mike Weir, the winner of this event in 2000 and hence the defending champion since this event was cancelled last year, shot a 5 under 67. And that score looked the popular number for a host of golfers with Fiji's Vijay Singh also finishing with a 67. Woods was playing with a new set of Nike irons for the first time and they were doing him no harm as he set up a birdie en route to a course record score. The world number one would be at 6 under par by the 17th hole after a birdie. He eventually finished at 7 under par, a bogey free round that gave him a one shot lead over countrymen David Toms and Steve Lowery who both had 66 each.
Topics : Golf