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Tiger Woods reacts after hitting a shot from the fairway into a bunker on the fourth hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club on Thursday in Pittsford, N.Y.
Friday, August 9, 2013
PITTSFORD, N.Y. - Oak Hill was there for the taking. Tiger Woods gave away too many chances.
Woods had everything he needed to start the final major championship of the year on a good note. The conditions were soft, still and ideal for scoring. He was one shot out of the lead Thursday morning in the PGA Championship when he made the turn, and there was nothing to suggest he would stray too far away.
Instead, he staggered off the course with double bogey on his last hole for a 1-over 71. That's not bad on a course where there typically is a premium on par. It just looked ordinary compared with the 28 rounds at par or better from other early starters in the opening round.
A wasted opportunity?
"A little bit," Woods said.
That was a phrase he mentioned three times when going over a round that featured four tough putts for par, but a round that should have been in red numbers.
The good news? It was his lowest score in five rounds at Oak Hill. And it was only Thursday.
"I'm still right there," he said. "And we've got a long way to go."
Double trouble for Phil
Phil Mickelson felt it was inexcusable to make double bogey on the par-5 fourth hole, which can be reached in two. He hit his first tee shot out of bounds.
He wasn't nearly as bothered by the double bogey he made on No. 18, which began with a drive deep into the trees left of the fairway. Mickelson tried to hit through a tiny gap in the trees, but it hit smack into them. He pitched out with his third shot, hit onto the green and missed his 10-foot bogey putt.
Mickelson didn't think he had many options.
"I would have to go backwards to get to the fairway," Mickelson said. "I couldn't go straight outside. I couldn't go forward. So I had to pitch out backwards, which would have left me on a downhill lie with a 4-iron. So I thought 5 was going to be tough and 6 was going to be in play. I was trying to get a 9-iron through the little gap so I would have a 100 yard shot left, and it hit a tree.
"I was fighting for 5 from the start, and I ended up making a 6," he said. "So it's not like I lost too much."
Martin Kaymer executed the shot exactly as he planned. The result was better than he expected.
Kaymer had 160 yards left on the par-5 13th hole and chose an 8-iron, knowing it might be too much club.
"But I thought if I hit it high, it will spin and I might have a good chance to make 4," he said.
The ball landed behind the flag and spun back toward the hole, swirling around the cup and dropping for an eagle. He followed that by hitting driver on the short par-4 14th to the right of the green, and getting up-and-down for birdie.
It was part of a 3-3-3 stretch on his card, and moved him closer to the leaders. Kaymer finished with back-to-back bogeys for a 68.
But the eagle was his highlight.
"It helps a lot in a major. It's such a big moment," Kaymer said. "You're thinking about 4, hopefully, and then you make 3. It's such a big bonus."
Hanging Rock pro Chip Sullivan, of Salem, shot a 14-over 84 in the opening round, with a triple-bogey 8 on the par-5
No. 13 and double bogeys at Nos. 5 and 18.
Sullivan did not post a birdie and bogeyed Nos. 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 16.
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