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Woods cools off for a 71

August 10, 2007|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

TULSA, Okla. -- It was hot, just not a hot start for Tiger Woods, whose one-over-par 71 wasn't what he was looking for.

That would have been how he started his round Thursday at Southern Hills -- three birdies in the first six holes.

"I felt like I hit the ball better than my score indicates, which is good," he said. "That's a good sign, heading into the next three days, and just need to clean up my round a little bit."

Woods' worst round last year when he won the PGA Championship at Medinah was 69.

Woods hit 10 of 14 fairways but only 10 of 18 greens.

"The back nine, I missed a couple of shots, and also the wind was a little hard to gauge," he said. "It was swirling all over the place. Cost me definitely one shot for sure."

The only one of Woods' 12 major titles that he won after shooting over par in the first round was the 2005 Masters, when he opened with a two-over 74.

Ernie Els, who had a 72, wanted to talk more about John Daly than his own round.

"It's nice to see John up there," he said. "It's amazing. This golf course doesn't suit his golf game at all and he's up there near the top of the leaderboard. Amazing. Anything under par is a good score."

Woods on Daly's round: "Must be from all of the practice rounds he's played here."

Sergio Garcia birdied three of the first four holes. That was the good news. But he also bogeyed the last two and finished with a 70.

"It is not a bad round, but it was a nice way of throwing a good round in the trash," he said.

Like everyone else, Garcia said it was a hot day to play golf.

"You constantly have to clean the sweat off your arms and hands and 15 seconds later you are sweating again and it makes things tough," he said.

Luke Donald had a 72 and hit 13 greens, but hurt himself once he got there. He needed 33 putts.

"I am still encouraged," he said. "If I keep playing like that, they can start dropping."

The Strange Round of the Day Award goes to Corey Pavin, who started at the 10th, birdied two of the first four holes and made the turn in two-under 33. Then he made six consecutive bogeys, had a 41 on the back side and finished with a four-over 74.

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