A strong start for Woods

Posted: July 20, 2007

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland - He's not in the lead, but Tiger Woods is off to a strong start in his quest for a third straight British Open title.

"It's very satisfying any time you shoot under par," Woods said of his 2-under 69, which left him in a group of five players 4 shots behind leader Sergio Garcia.

Woods, teeing off shortly after 9 a.m. on a chilly, damp morning along the North Sea, briefly grabbed the lead at 3-under when he birdied the third hole, then sank a 20-footer for eagle at the 578-yard sixth, known around Carnoustie as Hogan's Alley.

Back-to-back bogeys at the 12th and 13th knocked Woods down the leader board. But a birdie at the 16th - Woods dropped a 90-footer - moved him to 2-under, where he stayed.

"Just made a nice shoulder turn and released it, and it went in the hole," joked Woods, referring to the back swing he needed for the putt.

Woods said Carnoustie continued to play much easier than it did in 1999.

"It's hard, but it's fair," he said. "It's a fantastic golf course."

Contact staff writer Joe Logan

at 215-854-5604 or jlogan@phillynews.com.

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