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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 July 2007, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Woods makes solid start at Open
Tiger Woods
Woods was happy enough with his opening-round efforts
Tiger Woods opened his campaign for a third straight Open title with a first-round 69 at Carnoustie.

Starting in cold and wet conditions, Woods birdied the third and then fired a stunning eagle at the 6th to move to three under.

But the world number one went off the boil and slipped back with bogeys at the 8th, 12th and 13th.

The 31-year-old moved back to two under thanks to a monster long-range birdie putt at the par-three 16th.

"I was just trying to get the ball close and lo and behold it went in," he said. "It was a successful day overall.

"The wind was bellowing and the back nine is really tough. You just have to suck that up and play some good shots.

606: DEBATE

"The last three holes I played in one under and I will take that any day."

Woods admitted he was puzzled by the favourable ruling he received at the 466-yard par-four 10th after hitting his drive into the semi rough.

When he reached his ball it was lying beside a television cable and referee Alan Holmes immediately ruled that Woods was entitled to a drop.

"It was a weird drop. I was as surprised as anybody. Usually TV cables are movable but they deemed it immovable, " he said. "I've never seen that ruling before.

"I didn't ask for it. The guy told me I could. He tried to move them before I got there to help me out, to keep the pace of play going.

"Every time I've played around the world they've picked those up, no problem, but they were trying to and they couldn't move them."

Michael Campbell
Campbell admits he lost his hunger after winning the US Open in 2005

New Zealand's Michael Campbell, who won the US Open in 2005, started well with a three-under 68.

The 38-year-old had three birdies in his opening six holes but suffered around the turn, dropping shots at 10 and 12.

He recovered with birdies at the 13th and 14th and finished with a bogey and a birdie in his closing three holes.

"That round was very satisfying," he said. "That is probably the best start to a major for me for the past 12 years. It is nice to see my name up there.

"I putted great today, I sunk three 25 footers.

"It was very difficult at the start, it was rainy and cold and the course was playing pretty long. To be three under after six was good and I tried to hold onto that from there."

In-form Korean KJ Choi, who has won two of his last three events on the PGA Tour, led for most of the morning despite the damp conditions.

It was a disappointing finish but I'm off to a half-decent start

Retief Goosen

The 36-year-old had a fine start with four birdies in his first six holes but bogeys at 15 and 18 dropped him back to two under.

"I still have a good feeling about my round," he said. "I only really hit one bad shot and that came at the 15th, where I was bunkered.

"On Wednesday I practised in the rain purposely, anticipating there was there was going to be more today, so I didn't feel too concerned and found my rhythm well."

South African Retief Goosen has missed four cuts out of five events going into the Open but is in the hunt after a one-under par 70.

He was hovering at the top of the leaderboard at four under but a double bogey at the 15th and another dropped shot at the next marred his round.

"It was a disappointing finish but I'm off to a half-decent start," he said. "It was tough because it was so cold.

"The ball's just not going anywhere. Into the wind, you're hitting three extra clubs. When I was hitting balls on the range this morning I could just barely warm up."

World number two Phil Mickelson, who bogeyed the last to finish level, blamed poor putting on his inability to join the 24 players who broke par.

He said "I never felt comfortable. I was never starting them on line, I wasn't even close. It was off line and poor speed," he said.

"I'm not overly disappointed. I don't feel like it is a big change. I putted well last week I just had an uncomfortable day on the greens."

Compatriot Jim Furyk also fell foul of 'Home', dropping a shot to card a one-under 70.

The world number three said: "Five is not a bad score. There are days when the wind can be blowing hard enough I can't get it to the creek so on a day like that I wouldn't be upset with five.

"I am always peeved walking off the last hole the way I did but overall one under is a decent score. I feel there are spots where I could have scored better."

South Africa's world number four Ernie Els closed with two straight bogeys for a one-over par 72.



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