Woods scrambles to stay in the hunt

Associated Press  |  Last updated August 09, 2012
For the first time in a dozen years, Tiger Woods has started three straight majors with a round in the 60s. Nothing less was going to suffice Thursday in the PGA Championship. In steamy weather, with virtually no wind along the Atlantic shore, Woods ran off three straight birdies around the turn at Kiawah Island and kept the round from turning ugly by getting up-and-down for bogey on three holes for a 3-under 69 that left him three shots off the early lead. He ended his day with a nifty par save from well below the ninth green, a shot that caused Woods to smile and call it ''nasty.'' ''As in nasty good,'' he said. Woods knew early on that Thursday morning, with sweat dripping off faces after just one hole, would be the time to score. He had to scramble for par on the par-5 second hole when his tee shot fell into a waste area, while defending PGA champion Keegan Bradley holed a 25-foot eagle putt to reach 3 under. ''Geez, I'm playing with Keegan and he's 3 under through two,'' Woods said. ''And you look up on the board, some guys 4 through six, a bunch of guys 3 under through five. So it's one of those days where everyone is going to shoot 6-, 7-, 8-under par. But the wind kicked up a little bit and it changes things quite a bit. If it had stayed pretty benign, I'm sure you would have had to have probably shot 5-under par to be in the top 10.'' Woods didn't hit the ball his best. He took only 22 putts, mainly because he was putting for birdie on a little more than half of his holes. He saved himself early. His tee shot on the 13th hole rolled into a bunker, leaving him 178 yards to the front of the green with a swamp to the right. He went to a 7-iron, got it over the lip and turned it left of the green into a gallery. Off a flat lie in a waste area above the green, he tried to bump it along the ground, only it came out soft and rolled into a bunker. He blasted that out to a few feet to escape with bogey. The par-3 14th might have been the most daunting hole of the day - some 250 yards to a green that drops off in every direction. Woods was left all the way, just over the bunker into a flat lie in the rough with a steep hill in front of him. The chip was weak and stayed in the rough, but a delicate chip left him a tap-in or bogey. He made up ground around the turn - a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th, a 10-foot birdie on No. 1 and a bunker shot to 15 feet for another birdie on No. 2. ''Anything in the 60s is going to be a good start in a major championship,'' Woods said. ''And I'm right there.'' Woods opened with a 69 at the U.S. Open, had a share of the halfway lead and then stumbled to a tie for 21st. He opened with a 67 at the British Open and was in contention until the front nine Sunday, when he made a triple bogey on the sixth hole. The last time he had three consecutive opening rounds in the 60s in the majors was in 2000 - a 65 at Pebble Beach, a 67 at St. Andrews and a 66 at Valhalla. In all three majors that year, he was either leading or one shot behind. And he won all three of them, the U.S. Open and British Open by a combined 23 shots. This is different, but it's a sign of progress. Bradley wound up with a 68, one shot better. The early leader was Carl Pettersson, who made it around The Ocean Course in 66. The morning group had the best conditions, and it was critical for Woods not to lose ground. His putter was key. Woods made a few adjustments last week at Firestone and putted better on the weekend. ''Came here with the same thoughts, same feels, and I made a few today,'' he said. Woods figures he lost some weight in the stifling heat, though his way was not finished. He headed for the practice range for a session with his coach after a reasonable start that needs to be a little bit better for his Friday afternoon second round and into the weekend. ''I'm going to do a little bit of work on the range, clean a few things up,'' Woods said. ''I know what to do and just need to do it.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL Legends (and Jose Canseco!) Have No Love For Captain America
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

The NFL is thinking about eliminating the preseason

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker