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Tiger Woods 'very pleased' with fighting start at Pebble Beach

Tiger Woods shot a first-round 70 and the former world number one left the course in good spirits on Thursday.

Former world number one Tiger Woods
Former world number one Tiger Woods

TIGER WOODS SAID he was “very pleased” to start his U.S. Open campaign under par at a tricky Pebble Beach.

Former world number one Woods carded a one-under-par 70 to end Thursday’s opening round five shots off the pace.

Woods – a three-time U.S. Open champion with his last triumph coming in 2008 – battled his way around the course in California, where he had three birdies and a double bogey on the front nine.

Despite not playing at his best, 15-time major winner Woods managed to stay within sight of leader Justin Rose.

“It’s typical Pebble Beach where the first seven holes you can get it going, and then after that you’re kind of fighting and kind of hanging on,” Woods told reporters.

“I kind of proved that today. I had it going early and had to fight off through the middle part of the round and hung in there with pars. Very pleased to shoot under par today.”

Woods said: “As I said, the first seven holes you can get it going, and you can be four to five under through the first seven holes. And then after that some of those were on the tricky side. They were hard to get it back and close to.

“Rosey kind of proved that today, kind of hang in there and fight it off. He had an amazing finish. I was in position to do the same thing, kind of hanging in there and was able to post an under par today.”

“It seemed like the majority of the guys were under par through the first seven holes, and then nobody was making hay after that,” Woods added. “And it was a little bit tricky.”

Masters champion Woods will tee off on Friday in a tie for 28th alongside Jason Day, Adam Scott, Carlos Ortiz, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Wallace, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Paul Casey, Jovan Rebula and An Byeong-hun.

Rory McIlroy shot an opening 68 that left him two shots off the lead, while Graeme McDowell hit 69. Shane Lowry had a day to forget with a four-over 75.

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