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Woods in bunkers early and often

Those who wondered whether Tiger Woods could stay out of the 196 bunkers that dot the links course of Royal Lytham & St. Annes didn't have to wait long.

By the fourth hole Thursday, he found his first.

He wound up in five during a round of par 71 that left him six behind Colin Montgomerie, his largest first-round deficit in four years at the British Open.

And bunkers were the least of his concerns.

Woods stretched his arm out to the right and yelled "Fore!" on three occasions. He failed to birdie any of the par 5s, two with the wind at his back. The putts that fell on command when he was winning four straight majors seemed to defy gravity.

"I didn't really hit the ball the way I wanted to," Woods said.

It was much different than last year on the Old Course at St. Andrews, where Woods posted four rounds in the 60s, set a major-championship record at 19 under and won by eight to complete the career Grand Slam.

Woods never hit into a bunker, one of the best defenses on the Old Course. Royal Lytham was another story.

Woods' streak ended with an iron off the fourth tee that flared right and rolled into a pot bunker with steep, sodded walls.

Woods saved par from four bunkers, including a bunker shot to tap-in distance on No. 18, and another shot that caromed off the wall at No. 12 and stopped 2 feet away.

"You have to understand, if you miss the ball in the wrong spot, you're probably going to make bogey," he said. "But at least you keep it at that."

TOUGH TIME FOR GARCIA: After what happened to Sergio Garcia the day before, his 1-under 70 felt a few strokes better than it was.

"Maybe like something in the mid-60s," he said.

Wednesday, Garcia's friend and assistant manager, Carlos Rodriguez, suffered a crushed left ankle when he was struck by a cart near the clubhouse.

Minutes later, Garcia was fined about $3,000 by the European PGA Tour for criticizing the greens at the Scottish Open.

"The fine, I couldn't care less about," Garcia said. "But what happened to Carlos just before the tournament was about to start wasn't easy to deal with. Particularly in a tournament like this one.

"He told me to go out there and win it for him."

Garcia described the injury as a "very nasty break" that will take six months to heal.

DALY LIKES DRIVER: John Daly is playing Royal Lytham his way. While others used irons on the bunker- and rough-infested course, Daly hit his driver on every par 4 except one. "I feel comfortable with it," he said after 72. "I'd rather be hitting L-wedges out of the rough than trying to hit these greens with 6, 7 8 irons. Hopefully it will pay off, I don't know. I'd rather have a short shot in than those longer ones."

_ TIMES WIRES

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