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Tiger struggles as Van Pelt rolls

Tiger Woods isn’t able to straighten out his game in the first round of the Quail Hollow Championship, shooting 2-over 74.

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Tiger Woods isn’t able to straighten out his game in the first round of the Quail Hollow Championship, shooting 2-over 74.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tiger Woods delivered a few memorable shots of his own Thursday at the Quail Hollow Championship on a pleasant day that produced birdies and eagles and plenty of excitement.

It's just not what he had in mind.

He hit a tee shot into the water on the par-3 17th that produced little reaction except to hold out his hand for another ball. He hit his next tee shot into the water and had to scramble for bogey. And he wound up with 2-over 74 that left him nine shots behind Bo Van Pelt and ended his streak of 21 straight rounds at par or better.

"I hit a bunch of balls left, I hit a bunch of balls right, hit a few down the middle," Woods said. "And that was about it."

For everyone else — Masters champion Phil Mickelson included with his 70 — there was so much more.

Mickelson had a severe stomach ailment that forced him to withdraw from the pro-am Wednesday, and he started feeling it when he climbed the steep hill to the 15th green. He two-putted for birdie to reach 4 under for his round, only to three-putt from the fringe on 17 and made another bogey from the trees on 18.

"I may have run out of energy there toward the end, but I hit some good shots and was able to shoot a decent round," he said.

Van Pelt is using an old putter that he had refurbished, and he already got strong results in Hilton Head two weeks ago with a tie for third, his best finish of the year. The opening round of the Quail Hollow Championship was even better, as Van Pelt made birdie on all the par 5s and made it through the tough closing stretch with all pars.

Kenny Perry shot 66, and Camilo Villegas played bogey-free for 67. The group at 68 featured a collection of players that included former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy and Monday qualifier Billy Mayfair.

For Woods, it was his highest opening round at a regular PGA Tour event since he shot 75 at the Players Championship three years ago. Woods kept his cool on the course, but he was in no mood to find a fix when he was done with his round.

"I'm not going to the range today," he said. "Hell with it."

LPGA: Ai Miyazato is trying to spoil Lorena Ochoa's going-away party.

Miyazato, the Japanese star who won the first two tour events, shot 10-under 63, the best round of her career in relation to par, to take the first-round lead in the Tres Marias Championship in Morelia, Mexico.

Spanish rookie Azahara Munoz opened with 65, and the top-ranked Ochoa, who will retire after the tournament, matched Michelle Wie with 66.

Miyazato had 10 birdies in her bogey-free round.

Ochoa asked to be paired Miyazato and former University of Arizona teammate Natalie Gulbis in the first two rounds. Ochoa grew up in junior golf with Gulbis and called Miyazato "the nicest girl on the tour."

Tiger struggles as Van Pelt rolls 04/29/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 29, 2010 11:40pm]
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