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  Thursday, 19 July, 2001, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
First round Tiger watch
Tiger Woods hits his opening shot in the first round
And he's off: Woods hits his first shot of The Open
All the action, hole by hole, as Tiger Woods begins his defence of The Open at Lytham with a level-par 71.

Hole one:
The world number one tees off at 09:01 BST in a three-ball with big-hitting Argentine Angel Cabrera and Frenchman Thomas Levet. Woods hits a fine tee shot at the first hole, a testing 210-yard par three, as the ball finishes in the heart of the green, just 15 feet from the pin. And his putter does the business as he sinks the testing birdie putt for a two. The perfect start.
One under par

Hole two:
With the wind behind him, Woods sends a conservative iron shot into the middle of the fairway on this par four. His second shot is equally assured and the ball bounds onto the right-hand side of the green - again finishing just 15 feet from the hole. Another birdie chance - but this time the ball trickles past and he taps in for par.
One under par

Tiger Woods waits on the first tee
Woods waits on the first tee to begin his defence
Hole three:
A solid tee shot is followed by a stray fairway iron. The ball drifts off to the right and stops a few feet short of a bunker in a hollow in the first cut of rough. But there are no demons here as he pitches four feet past the pin and he holes for a par four.
One under par

Hole four:
The weather has now turned, a stiff breeze bringing down the temperature and creating testing conditions for the early starters. Woods' two-iron tee shot is not good and it finds a bunker way off to the right. His only option is to pitch back onto the fairway - and his approach shot then runs through the back of the green. From there he gets down in two - but it is for a five and his first dropped shot of the championship.
Level par

Hole five:
This par-three hole offers the chance to pick up a shot after the bogey at the fourth. But Woods' radar is suddenly faltering and another shot drifts off to the right, the ball racing off the side of the green. A sweet chip takes him to within a few feet and a three.
Level par

Tiger Woods chips onto the third green
He chips from the rough onto the third green
Hole six:
Woods reaches the first par five on the course. But any opportunities to recover his momentum look lost when he puts his second shot into a bunker in front of the green. After amazingly playing four rounds at St Andrew's in 2000 without finding sand, he has now reached two in the first six holes in 2001. His sand shot is steady rather than spectacular - and two putts give him a five.
Level par

Hole seven:
A second consecutive par five - but again Woods fails to take advantage. Another drive goes off to the right, landing in the long grass. He gambles with his second shot, trying to blast his way up towards the green. The gamble fails and the ball fires across the fairway and into the rough on the left-hand side. But he shows why he is world No.1 with a brilliant scrambled third that finishes six feet from the hole. A rare missed putt, though, means he has to settle for par.
Level par

Hole eight:
A perfect iron off the tee is followed by an approach shot that again drifts to the right, the ball finishing just off the green. His putt from the fringe is short and he takes another par.
Level par

Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the fourth green
His form on the greens was less than spectacular
Hole nine:
At 164 yards this is the shortest hole on the course and offers another birdie chance. Woods' tee shot is pin-high - but his putter has lost its magic. He misses a 20-footer and cards a three. He has reached the turn in level-par 35 - which, by his own incredible standards, is pretty modest.
Level par


Hole 10:
Another iron off the tee at this short par four - and another fairway safely negotiated. But his second is way off range, racing through the green and into the heavy rough at the back. He chips 15 feet past the hole - but leaves his uphill putt short and suffers his second bogey of the day.
One over par

Hole 11:
A huge drive gets Tiger off to a fine start on this 542-yard par five. He goes for the green in two, but he is again off-target and the ball drops into a steep-sided bunker on the right-hand side of the green. A fine sand-wedge gives him a birdie chance - but he misses it and takes a five. He has failed to pick up any strokes on Lytham's three par-three holes.
One over par

Tiger Woods plays a shot out of the rough at the sixth
Woods found more rough than he is used to
Hole 12:
Woods is struggling to find anything like his best form - and he finds another bunker at this 198-yard par three. But his sand play is solid and he gets up and down for par.
One over par

Hole 13:
Woods gets his round back on track with a fine tee shot and an excellent approach which bounces past the hole and spins back to within eight feet. He holes the putt for only his second birdie of the day and goes back to even.
Level par

Hole 14:
After a wild tee shot careers into the deep rough, Woods leaves his approach short and right of the green. He chips to 15 feet - but he misses the par putt and drops further off the pace.
One over par

Tiger Woods gestures at the ball after playing from the rough at the sixth
Stay left: A frustrated gesture at the ball
Hole 15:
Woods pushes his tee shot and his ball again finds itself off the fairway on the right, just short of a nasty bunker. His six iron second shot looks headed for the green, only for the ball to take a huge kick to the left and finish short of the putting surface. But he gets down in two for a par four.
One over par

Hole 16:
With holes running out as he looks to break par, Woods safely finds the fairway off the tee. At last he shows us a glimpse of his best, as a glorious long-iron shot takes the ball to within three feet of the hole. An excellent birdie - and exactly what his supporters would have expected him to have been doing all day.
Level par

Hole 17:
Woods reaches the green in regulation and faces a 25-footer for a birdie. The putt looks to be heading for the hole, but it stops inches short and he has to take another par.
Level par

Hole 18:
The last hole of the day - but Woods' drive follows the pattern of so many of its predecessors, drifting into the rough on the right once again. He is unable to get the distance on his second and finds another bunker - his fourth of the round. A sublime sand shot puts the ball within 18 inches of the hole and he taps in for a 71. While it has been far from vintage Woods, he will be pleased to have rescued his round after some sloppy play.
Level par

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 ON THIS STORY
Tiger Woods
"I was grinding my butt off out there"
 LIVE WEBCASTS
All the action, hole by hole, as Tiger Woods begins his defence of The Open with a level-par 71.
<B>All the action, hole by hole, as Tiger Woods begins his defence of The Open at Lytham with a level-par 71.</B> <P> <B>Hole one:</B><BR> The world number one tees off at 09:01 BST in a three-ball with big-hitting Argentine Angel Cabrera and Frenchman Thomas Levet. Woods hits a fine tee shot at the first hole, a testing 210-yard par three, as the ball finishes in the heart of the green, just 15 feet from the pin. And his putter does the business as he sinks the testing birdie putt for a two. The perfect start.<BR><B>One under par</B> <P> <B>Hole two:</B><BR> With the wind behind him, Woods sends a conservative iron shot into the middle of the fairway on this par four. His second shot is equally assured and the ball bounds onto the right-hand side of the green - again finishing just 15 feet from the hole. Another birdie chance - but this time the ball trickles past and he taps in for par.<BR><B>One under par</B> <P> <CPS:IMAGE ORDER="2"></CPS:IMAGE><B>Hole three:</B><BR> A solid tee shot is followed by a stray fairway iron. The ball drifts off to the right and stops a few feet short of a bunker in a hollow in the first cut of rough. But there are no demons here as he pitches four feet past the pin and he holes for a par four.<BR><B>One under par</B> <P> <B>Hole four:</B><BR> The weather has now turned, a stiff breeze bringing down the temperature and creating testing conditions for the early starters. Woods' two-iron tee shot is not good and it finds a bunker way off to the right. His only option is to pitch back onto the fairway - and his approach shot then runs through the back of the green. From there he gets down in two - but it is for a five and his first dropped shot of the championship.<BR><B>Level par</B> <P> <B>Hole five:</B><BR>This par-three hole offers the chance to pick up a shot after the bogey at the fourth. But Woods' radar is suddenly faltering and another shot drifts off to the right, the ball racing off the side of the green. A sweet chip takes him to within a few feet and a three.<BR><B>Level par</B> <P> <CPS:IMAGE ORDER="3"></CPS:IMAGE><B>Hole six:</B><BR>Woods reaches the first par five on the course. But any opportunities to recover his momentum look lost when he puts his second shot into a bunker in front of the green. After amazingly playing four rounds at St Andrew's in 2000 without finding sand, he has now reached two in the first six holes in 2001. His sand shot is steady rather than spectacular - and two putts give him a five.<BR><B>Level par</B> <P> <B>Hole seven:</B><BR>A second consecutive par five - but again Woods fails to take advantage. Another drive goes off to the right, landing in the long grass. He gambles with his second shot, trying to blast his way up towards the green. The gamble fails and the ball fires across the fairway and into the rough on the left-hand side. But he shows why he is world No.1 with a brilliant scrambled third that finishes six feet from the hole. A rare missed putt, though, means he has to settle for par.<BR><B>Level par</B> <P> <B>Hole eight:</B><BR>A perfect iron off the tee is followed by an approach shot that again drifts to the right, the ball finishing just off the green. His putt from the fringe is short and he takes another par.<BR><B>Level par</B> <P> <CPS:IMAGE ORDER="4"></CPS:IMAGE><B>Hole nine:</B><BR>At 164 yards this is the shortest hole on the course and offers another birdie chance. Woods' tee shot is pin-high - but his putter has lost its magic. He misses a 20-footer and cards a three. He has reached the turn in level-par 35 - which, by his own incredible standards, is pretty modest.<BR><B>Level par</B> <P> <HR> <B>Hole 10:</B><BR>Another iron off the tee at this short par four - and another fairway safely negotiated. But his second is way off range, racing through the green and into the heavy rough at the back. He chips 15 feet past the hole - but leaves his uphill putt short and suffers his second bogey of the day.<BR><B>One over par</B> <P> <B>Hole 11:</B><BR>A huge drive gets Tiger off to a fine start on this 542-yard par five. He goes for the green in two, but he is again off-target and the ball drops into a steep-sided bunker on the right-hand side of the green. A fine sand-wedge gives him a birdie chance - but he misses it and takes a five. He has failed to pick up any strokes on Lytham's three par-three holes.<BR><B>One over par</B> <P> <CPS:IMAGE ORDER="5"></CPS:IMAGE><B>Hole 12:</B><BR>Woods is struggling to find anything like his best form - and he finds another bunker at this 198-yard par three. But his sand play is solid and he gets up and down for par.<BR><B>One over par</B> <P> <B>Hole 13:</B><BR>Woods gets his round back on track with a fine tee shot and an excellent approach which bounces past the hole and spins back to within eight feet. He holes the putt for only his second birdie of the day and goes back to even.<BR><B>Level par</B> <P> <B>Hole 14:</B><BR>After a wild tee shot careers into the deep rough, Woods leaves his approach short and right of the green. He chips to 15 feet - but he misses the par putt and drops further off the pace.<BR><B>One over par</B> <P> <CPS:IMAGE ORDER="6"></CPS:IMAGE><B>Hole 15:</B><BR>Woods pushes his tee shot and his ball again finds itself off the fairway on the right, just short of a nasty bunker. His six iron second shot looks headed for the green, only for the ball to take a huge kick to the left and finish short of the putting surface. But he gets down in two for a par four.<BR><B>One over par</B> <P> <B>Hole 16:</B><BR>With holes running out as he looks to break par, Woods safely finds the fairway off the tee. At last he shows us a glimpse of his best, as a glorious long-iron shot takes the ball to within three feet of the hole. An excellent birdie - and exactly what his supporters would have expected him to have been doing all day.<BR><B>Level par</B> <P> <B>Hole 17:</B><BR>Woods reaches the green in regulation and faces a 25-footer for a birdie. The putt looks to be heading for the hole, but it stops inches short and he has to take another par.<BR><B>Level par</B> <P> <B>Hole 18:</B><BR>The last hole of the day - but Woods' drive follows the pattern of so many of its predecessors, drifting into the rough on the right once again. He is unable to get the distance on his second and finds another bunker - his fourth of the round. A sublime sand shot puts the ball within 18 inches of the hole and he taps in for a 71. While it has been far from vintage Woods, he will be pleased to have rescued his round after some sloppy play.<BR><B>Level par</B> <P>

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