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Tiger 'right there' near cut line

By Agence France-Presse in Rochester, New York | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-10 08:35

Tiger 'right there' near cut line

World No 1 Tiger Woods said he remains in the title hunt at the PGA Championship after playing "really well" in Thursday's first round, despite shooting a one-over par 71.

Woods, a 14-time major champion who has not won a major title since the 2008 US Open, closed with a double bogey on the ninth hole to finish six strokes behind co-leaders Adam Scott and Jim Furyk.

"I'm still right there," Woods said. "I'm only six back and we've got a long ways to go."

Woods had more than 60 players between him and the lead, however, and looked to be on the cut line entering Friday's second round at Oak Hill Country Club.

Woods, who began off the 10th tee, birded the par-5 13th and par-3 15th, but took a bogey on the par-5 fourth and a double bogey on the par-4 ninth after finding the rough on his approach and a bunker with his third shot. He then lipped out a 12-foot putt.

"I played really well," he said. "I just hit a bad iron shot at four and didn't get up and down.

"One loose 9-iron and I ended up not having much of a shot after a decent tee shot on nine. I drew no lie at all. I didn't even get over the bunker.

"I made a few par putts out there as well. The round realistically could have been under par easily."

But Woods could not crack par on a course where he produced his second-worst pro showing over 72 holes at a major, a share of 39th place at the 2003 PGA.

And he had perfect conditions, with little to no wind and a course softened somewhat by overnight rain, allowing balls to hold greens rather than roll back to more dangerous spots beyond the putting surfaces.

"The first hour there was no wind," Woods said. "On top of that, with the rain here, it softened everything up. That rain certainly helped things."

Woods bolstered his confidence by leaving the ball, for the most part, where he wanted it: below the cup to make putts easier.

"I left it in all the good spots," Woods said. "Left them right where I wanted so I had some free runs at putts, especially the par putts."

Woods was timed for the first four holes after quickly being out of position and being watched for slow play, a consequence of the huge crowds following him around the course.

"We have to be conscious of it. We have a lot of people following us and cameras going off and movement inside the galleries," Woods said.

"We have a tendency of having that happen. We're accustomed to it."

(China Daily 08/10/2013 page16)

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