Kiawah Island, SC – Vijay Singh's 3-under 69 Friday morning at the PGA Championship was something to behold.
In close to 30 mph winds, and, for a few minutes, pretty powerful rain fall, Singh's round was one stroke better than the next closest score from the morning wave and that belonged to Michael Hoey.
Phil Mickelson had the only other round under par Friday morning, but the scoring average for that half of the field was in the mid 77s.
Players came off the Ocean Course confused, belittled and grateful to be done. But most finished and were effusive in their praise of what Singh accomplished on Friday.
And that group included Singh himself.
"I'm happy I shot 69 for sure. I would have taken 72 when I started off," admitted Singh. "And I'm happy I'm done, too."
But here's what some other players said about Singh's round:
"He's a tremendous ball-striker. These conditions here where you don't have an option to go on the ground, you have to keep it through the air, plays right to his strength," said Mickelson. "He hits the ball extremely solid and penetrates right through the air and he's done that his whole career."
"Seventy-five or below is a decent score out there, I really believe that," said Graeme McDowell, who had a 4-over 76. "Vijay's 69, that's a serious score. That's a serious score."
"Today he played very well tee-to-green," said Padraig Harrington, who shot a 76. "There was nothing -- didn't have any of the wayward shots at all. And the short game was still very sharp. So, yeah, he's feeling very confident going into the weekend."
"Folks watching on TV back home I don't think realize how good that 69 is because there's a lot of pins that you can't even sniff getting even close to," said Blake Adams after his respectable 72. "So you're just banking on 40- footers, and your lag putts are very, very tough to judge."