Weir leads at Buick Open; Singh, Woods close behind


the associated press The Associated Press

By The Associated Press

GRAND BLANC, Mich. – Tiger Woods birdied his first five holes and closed with a 6-under 66 Thursday but that wasn’t enough to take the early lead in the Buick Open.

Mike Weir matched his best round of the season with a 63 to top the leaderboard in the suspended first round, one shot ahead of two-time defending champion Vijay Singh and three in front of Woods. Joe Durant, Brett Quigley and Woody Austin were two shots back at 65.

“You know you are going to have to (go low), or else you are going to get run over,” Woods said. “You have to shoot something in the 60s, actually mid-60s just to keep pace.”

All of the leaders were fortunate to have morning tee times.

The tournament was delayed 2 hours, 16 minutes in the morning because of stormy weather. A second delay lasted 1 hour, 36 minutes in the afternoon before play was suspended for the day because of unplayable conditions. Just a little more than half of the field was unable to complete the first round and those unlucky golfers will be back on the course early Friday, with some needing to play 36 holes before the cut is made – and that might not happen until Saturday morning.

Warwick Hills is always one of the easiest courses on the PGA Tour because it’s relatively short and the greens are perfect, players say. Rain softened up the course, allowing players to shoot right at pins even more aggressively than usual.

“Even though the wind is blowing, the greens are soft and guys are flying at every flag,” Woods said.

Weir had four birdies on the front nine and five consecutive on the back to match the opening round he had in February at Pebble Beach, where the star finished a season-best third. The 2003 Masters champion has had a lackluster year with five top-10 finishes – though one was at the U.S. Open in June. Weir’s last win was the 2004 Nissan Open.