|Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy share a laugh in Abu Dhabi. (GettyImages)|
The German led for most of the day before hitting it in the water on the last hole and finishing at -1. Woods somehow pieced together a par 72 while McIlroy finished with an ugly 3-over 75. The leaders are at -5 at the time of this post.
You can bet Kaymer's agent was sitting at home, staring at a TaylorMade logo, thinking, "Wait, Rory and Tiger make how much?!"
It was not the start that Nike had in mind when it revealed that golf's new power couple would both be wearing the swoosh in 2013.
The newfound buddies were all business on the course throughout the round, however, having to save the chumminess for those commercials.
Heck, maybe they were too business-like given the number of combined fairways and greens that they hit (it felt like single digits).
Woods was all over the place, at one point hitting a drive that didn't go more than 100 yards. His was a "wait, how is this guy still at par?" round and not much else.
After the round, he said on Golf Channel he was just trying to hang on,
These fairways are tiny to hit, it feels like every hole's a crosswind hole. Just a day to survive and try to get it going the next three days.
One of the commentators noticed this, noting,
It's remarkable that Tiger is even par with all the places he has visited today in Abu Dhabi.
McIlroy appeared a bit aloof -- oscillating betwen awful drives, wayward fairway shots and an "I'd rather be anywhere but here" look.
His 75 marked the first time since his first round in 2008 that he had been over par at the HSBC Championship.
After the round, he said on Golf Channel,
I feel like I was a little bit rusty. I wasn't very comfortable off the tee. It's a little bit of an experimental period.
Rusty he was. Check out this duck hook that he hit on the back nine. Looks like me after a few brews on a Friday afternoon.
And Tiger wasn't all that much better. Here's his sub-100-yard (!) drive on hole No. 1 (No. 10 for this group as they teed off on the back nine).
Jason Sobel had a picture-perfect description of the shot.
Tiger Woods' drive on the first hole should be referred to as a Waffle House. Scattered, smothered, chopped and chunked.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) January 17, 2013
Surely everyone -- fans, television producers, Tiger and Rory themselves -- is expecting more from the world Nos. 1 and 2 golfers for the rest of the tournament.
And while we're here, can we please curtail the "Rory is using inferior equipment!" talk until he at least completes one tournament?
Or at least misses one cut!
Tiger and Rory will tee it up again on Friday morning at 3:05 a.m. ET if you're game enough to stay up (or wake up) for it.