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Woods back and still off his game

Tiger Woods, in his first event in seven weeks, shoots 2-over 73 in the first round of the PGA Tour’s Open.

Associated Press

Tiger Woods, in his first event in seven weeks, shoots 2-over 73 in the first round of the PGA Tour’s Open.

SAN MARTIN, Calif. — Anyone expecting a new and improved version of Tiger Woods saw much of the same old thing Thursday:

An early birdie to raise hopes. A sudden tumble. And he couldn't make a putt.

In his first tournament in seven weeks, Woods went 13 holes between his only two birdies at the PGA Tour's Open and had 2-over 73 that put him in danger of missing consecutive cuts for the first time in his career.

"That's probably one of the worst putting rounds I've ever had," Woods said. "I can't putt the ball any worse than I did (Thursday). … The rest of the game was not too bad."

Texas Open winner Brendan Steele opened with 4-under 67 on a cool day with some rain at CordeValle to sit atop the leaderboard in the fall series event with Briny Baird, Garrett Willis and Matt Bettencourt.

The best golf in Woods' group came from UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay, the No. 1 amateur in the world, who opened with 2-under 69.

Woods was one shot out of the top 70 and ties that will advance to the weekend.

He had not played since missing the cut at the PGA Championship in August, finishing out of the top 100 for the first time in a major.

Woods said the time off at least gave him time to practice, to nail down the major work in his swing change with coach Sean Foley, and to play 36 holes a day at home in Florida.

But there was nothing special about his game Thursday, though whatever he did right was derailed once he got on the greens.

Korea Open: Defending champion Y.E. Yang shot 4-under 67 to claim a share of the lead with Rickie Fowler after the first round in Seoul. U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy was a stroke behind in a three-way tie for third.

Woods back and still off his game 10/06/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 6, 2011 10:41pm]
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