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Late lapse costs Woods share of lead

December 14, 2007 09:58 IST

Tiger Woods, back in action after a two-month break, was left seething after double-bogeying the final hole to surrender a share of the lead in the Target World Challenge first round on Thursday.

The world number one and tournament host had to settle for a three-under-par 69 after finding a water hazard with his approach into the 18th green before two-putting from 10 feet.

That left him in a four-way tie for second place, a stroke behind pacesetting American Jim Furyk who birdied two of the last six holes for a 68 at a breezy but sun-drenched Sherwood Country Club.

Swede Henrik Stenson had been tied for the lead with Woods at five under with three holes to play but bogeyed 16 and 17 to finish level with Woods, Masters champion Zach Johnson and South African Rory Sabbatini.

"As frustrating as it ended, it was a pretty good day overall," three-times champion Woods told a news conference after making his first competitive appearance since the Presidents Cup in late September.

"But how can you not be angry? I made six on the last hole and threw away a good round of golf. Basically I should have been seven under par today easily and I messed it up.

"It was my short game. I hit two terrible pitches on the two par-fives on the back nine. I've got a lot of work to do the next three days. I obviously have to clean up the round a little bit around the greens."


Bidding for his eighth victory of the season, Woods pushed his 18th tee shot way right before pulling his approach shot into the stream guarding the left side of the green.

"I tried to go for it and pulled it just a touch and ended up in the hazard," he said of his second shot. "But, for my first round back, I was very pleased at how consistent I was."

Furyk was delighted with his display on a day of swirling breezes.

"I'm happy with the round after having about seven weeks off," the 37-year-old said after carding five birdies and a solitary bogey at the par-four 10th.

"The greens were holding but they were quicker than yesterday. It took me a while to get used to the speed and it was also a bit windy out there. I thought it was a pretty tough day."

British Open champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland, who clinched the 2002 Target World Challenge, was one of just seven players in the elite field of 16 to break par after an opening 71 left him three strokes off the pace.

Briton Colin Montgomerie, winner of a record eight European Tour order of merit titles, propped up the leaderboard after battling to an opening 80.

The day's scoring average of 71.69 was the second highest for the first round in the tournament's nine-year history.

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