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Woods continues to suffer major problems
Alex Miceli | August 13, 2004 14:24 IST
Tiger Woods showed no sign of ending his winless streak in majors as he slumped to a three-over-par 75 in the first round of the U.S. PGA Championship on Thursday.
The world number one never recovered from a double-bogey seven at the 11th, his second hole, and now faces a fight to avoid missing the halfway cut after finishing 10 shots behind early leader Darren Clarke.
"I just didn't hit the ball the right speed or the right line," Woods said. "It's tough to make putts with that combination.
"I didn't hit the ball all that poorly, but I sure putted bad. All of the short putts I missed. I really putted atrociously today."
Woods birdied his first hole of the day on the 7,514-yard Whistling Straits course but his round began a downward spiral when he was disturbed by a spectator during his backswing on the monster 618-yard par-five 11th.
He pulled his drive into thick rough and then failed to locate the fairway with his second shot before three-putting to rack up an ugly seven.
The 28-year-old, who has gone nine majors without victory since winning the 2002 U.S. Open, followed up with bogeys at the next two holes to go to three over.
He drove the green at the par-four 14th before sealing a birdie to move back to two over, but Woods was clearly struggling to find his form.
After going out in 38 he dropped three more shots on the homeward nine and not even birdies on two and four could salvage his round.
Woods was tied for 97th and two shots off the projected cut line. The last time he missed the 36-hole cut was at the 1997 Bell Canadian Open 128 events ago but he remained upbeat.
"If DC (Darren Clarke) shot 65 it can be had," referring to the tournament's early leader.
"You can get it going here, there's no doubt," he added. "The greens are soft, the balls are holding and, if you're hitting the ball well, you can get the ball in there close.
"I just need to putt better."