-- Tiger Woods was the only player on my board of top 13 players (World No. 6 Matt Kuchar withdrew with a bad back) in the world to shoot over par on Thursday. You could make all the excuses you want for why he doesn't deserve a D grade -- his injury and lack of play -- but he showed up to compete and simply didn't play well.
Rory McIlroy continues to be the head of my class. Lee Westwood, Kevin Chappell and Ryan Palmer -- all not on my board -- beat McIlroy on Thursday, but the 25-year-old Northern Irishman will be hard to keep up with over 72 holes.
Rory McIlroy World Ranking: No. 1 | Score: 66
Adam Scott World Ranking: No. 2 | Score: 71
Supplanted as the No. 1 player in the world last week by McIlroy, the 34-year-old can maybe now come into these tournaments a little under the radar. His quiet 71 on Thursday was the start of what he hopes will be an excellent week.
Sergio Garcia World Ranking: No. 3 | Score: 70
The 34-year-old Spaniard got off to a rough start with bogeys at the fifth and sixth holes, but he played his last 12 holes 3-under to finish with a 1-under 70. With a tie for second at the Open Championship and a second-place finish last week at the Bridgestone, he's peaking at the right time.
Henrik Stenson World Ranking: No. 4 | Score: 66
Justin Rose World Ranking: No. 5 | Score: 70
After two wins, a tie for 23rd and tie for fourth in his past four starts, the 34-year-old Englishman expects to hang around the leaderboard all week at Valhalla. His 1-under 70 on Thursday didn't hurt those chances.
Bubba Watson World Ranking: No. 7 | Score: 70
Jim Furyk World Ranking: No. 8 | Score: 66
Jason Day World Ranking: No. 9 | Score: 69
After pulling out of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational during the third round last week with a case of vertigo, the 26-year-old Australian has had a tough summer. At the Open Championship, he struggled with a thumb and wrist injury. Yet on Thursday at Valhalla, he didn't look like a player suffering from any ailments. After finishing second in the long-drive contest on Tuesday with a 338-yard blast at the 10th, he had a 2-under 69 in his first round.
Tiger Woods World Ranking: No. 10 | Score: 74
Jordan Spieth World Ranking: No. 11 | Score: 71
Martin Kaymer World Ranking: No. 12 | Score: 70
Phil Mickelson World Ranking: No. 13 | Score: 69