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The Early Lead
Posted at 01:33 PM ET, 08/11/2011

PGA Championship: Steve Stricker leads; Tiger Woods falters


A strong start turned sandy for Tiger Woods in a rough opening round in Johns Creek. (Charlie Riedel - AP)
Tiger Woods got off to a promising start in his first round of the the 93rd PGA Championship on Thursday, but early birdies quickly turned to bogeys and the four-time tournament champion ended the day with a disappointing 7-over-par 77.

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Meantime 44-year-old Steve Stricker was working on a bogey-free round through 15 holes when Woods entered the clubhouse. Stricker began the day with three straight birdies on the back 9 and currently sits atop the leader board at 7 under par, three strokes ahead of Swede Alexander Noren and fellow American Jerry Kelly (both through 13).

Three birdies on the first five holes gave Woods a brief share of the lead at the Atlanta Athletic Club, but a wet double bogey on the par-3 15th opened the floodgates for five bogeys and three doubles on the day.

Woods’ iron from the 15th tee sent the ball into a pond at the right of the hole, then on the 16th another poor drive resulted in two treks into bunkers and one visit into the gallery. The par-4 18th was also sandy for Woods who made double bogey going into his back-to-front turn.

More than 50 golfers had yet to tee off when Woods finished his round.

By  |  01:33 PM ET, 08/11/2011

 
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