With one bold swing, Camilo Villegas turned a solid round at the Honda Classic into his best start in more than a year.
Villegas drilled a 3-wood from 263 yards over the water to about 8 feet for an eagle on the par-5 18th hole at PGA National for a 6-under 64 and a one-shot lead over Branden Grace, Rickie Fowler, Graham DeLaet and Robert Streb at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Defending champion Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods each opened with 70 and walked away feeling much differently about their day.
Woods was in danger of a big number late in his round when he decided to take off his socks and shoes, don rain pants and step into a creek to play a shot half-submerged in the water. Instead of taking a drop that could have led to double bogey, he escaped with par on the par-4 sixth hole.
"I wasn't trying to advance it very far, just make sure I got it back in the fairway and give myself some kind of wedge shot in there, which I did," said Woods, who played the back nine first. "Looking at 6 -- 3 over -- and all of a sudden I flip it, make par there and birdie the next."
McIlroy was 1 under when his wedge sailed over the 18th green, he chipped to just inside 8 feet and took bogey when he missed the putt.
"I only had 105 yards in for my third shot and ended up taking a 6," McIlroy said. "Wasn't the nicest way to finish. I saw enough pretty good golf out there to be positive."
Villegas will take just about anything positive at this stage in his career. He lost his PGA Tour card last year and didn't earn it back in Q-school. A popular draw, he's received ample sponsor exemptions to get through the year, but he missed the cut at Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach.
"This game is great when you're playing good," said Villegas, who won the Honda Classic at PGA National in 2010. "When you're out here missing cuts and missing cuts, I don't care what people say. Yes, we're blessed to have this job, but it's not that much fun."
LPGA Tour: Azahara Munoz opened with a 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. Stacy Lewis, Karin Sjodin, Lizette Salas, Pornanong Phatlum and Sun Young Yoo shared second. Pleasanton native Paula Creamer shot 68 despite suffering injuries in a car accident Sunday in Thailand. She jammed her shoulder when she hit the dashboard and suffered whiplash after slamming her head off the headrest. "At the beginning of the round, I really couldn't feel my right side and I didn't know if I was going to be able to even go," Creamer said. Michelle Wie was at 71.
European Tour: Darren Fichardt birdied the longest par-5 in tour history to lead the inaugural Tshwane Open by a shot in Centurion, South Africa. He shot a 7-under 65, including a 4 on the 685-yard fourth hole. "I hit driver, 3-iron, 7-iron and holed a 12-foot putt," he said.