We're on the ground at Oakland Hills and Titleist brand ambassador Robert Karlsson caused an early stir. Karlsson, who is enjoying a career year on the PGA European Tour, got off to a slow start with a double bogey six on the first hole, but followed with birdies on Nos. 2, 3, 6 and 8 to make the turn at 3-under 32. The Swede made his sixth birdie in 10 holes on No. 11 before giving two shots back with bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15 to finish at 2-under 68. At 6 feet, 5 inches, Robert is one of the tallest players on tour. In 17 events this year he has accumulated nine Top 10 finishes, including a T-7 at the British Open, T-4 at the U.S. Open and T-8 at the Masters, and has risen from No. 41 to No. 22 in the Official World Golf Rankings since the start of the year. He put a couple of new 909 fairway metals (15° and 18°) in his bag for the first time last week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational where he finished T-20.
Click on the video player below to hear Robert's comments following his opening round.
Playing in the group following Karlsson was India's Jeev Milkha Singh, who was also making an early name for himself. Singh, who plays the Pro V1x golf ball, got off to a shaky start with a bogey on the first, but rebounded with an eagle on the 529-yard No. 2 and a birdie on No. 5. He will carry momentum into tomorrow following birdies on No. 15, a short par 4 (401 yards) and No. 17, a long par 3 (238 yards), to finish at 2-under 68 and tie with Karlsson for the lead in the clubhouse. Singh is another interesting player who is a virtual unknown in the U.S., but has had huge success in Asia and Europe. He became the first Indian player to participate in the Masters when he finished T-37 in 2007. He followed that performance up with a T-25 this year. He has one win to his credit this year, capturing the Bank Austria GolfOpen in June. Ranked 66th in the world, Singh is 13th on the Order of Merit.
Click on the video player below to hear what Jeev had to say about his opening round.