• Greenbrier Classic, Round One

Woods rides the rollercoaster for a 71

ESPN staff
July 5, 2012
Tiger Woods was not at his best on day one © PA Photos


Tiger Woods gave yet another example of how consistency still eludes him after he mixed the good with the ugly during an opening one-over 71 at the Greenbrier Classic.

Woods, who moved above Jack Nicklaus into second place on the all-time list of PGA Tour wins with his 74th triumph at the AT&T National last weekend, showed he is a player feeling comfortable with his game when opening with two birdies in his first three holes.

However, a bogey on his fourth hole and a double-bogey seven on the 17th, where he found water before failing to sink a two-footer for bogey, chipped away at his new-found confidence. He traded two birdies with two bogeys coming in (on the front nine) to emphasise his contradictory play. The American has some way to go to record his fourth win of the year, finishing the day eight shots adrift of first-round leader Vijay Singh.

"I was a little bit off with my game, and on top of that I didn't have the speed of these greens at all," Woods, who needed 31 swings of the putter, said. "My last three tournaments, the greens were awfully quick and they have a lot of swing at the end because of how fast they are. I missed literally every single putt high today."

Singh rolled back the years with a majestic 63 to sit pretty at the top of the leaderboard, one stroke better off than the American trio of Jeff Maggert, Martin Flores and Jonathan Byrd. After dropping a shot having made birdie at the first, Singh clicked into gear, peppering the greens with laser-like irons and showing Woods how to hole putts with the short stick. It was a vintage performance, with Singh concluding his 18 holes with four straight birdies to post a score of seven-under.

Newly-crowned US Open champion Webb Simpson is giving chase on five-under following a 65, while compatriot Jim Furyk reeled off 11 straight pars before eventually signing for a one-over 71.

Phil Mickelson grinded away all day, the four-time major champion enduring a mixed bag in an opening 71.

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