Tiger Woods grinds to opening-round 70 without his best stuff at U.S. Open

Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods grinds to opening-round 70 without his best stuff at U.S. Open

USGA

Tiger Woods grinds to opening-round 70 without his best stuff at U.S. Open

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Tiger Woods didn’t have his best stuff Thursday at the U.S. Open.

It was an 18-hole grind, one Woods was able to manage admirably while carding a 1-under 70 in the opening round at Pebble Beach.

That leaves Woods five shots off leader and playing partner Justin Rose. He’s still very much in good shape at T-28 on the leaderboard when he walked off the 18th green, doing what he’s always figured out how to do over the years – post a number without his A game.

Now he’s firmly in the hunt entering Friday’s 11:24 a.m. ET tee time with Jordan Spieth and Rose.

Woods kept Thursday’s round intact with his putter, most notably with a 30-foot make at the par-5 14th to earn par. That earned a big fist pump from Woods on a day when he was visibly frustrated with his iron play.

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Woods was mostly accurate off the tee and put himself in good spots, but he still found himself scrambling around the greens to save par following sub-par approach shots.

After a birdie at No. 4 to get to 1 under, Woods gave two back with an ugly double bogey at the par-3 fifth. His tee shot was a goner from the start, a double cross that sailed way left and traveled even further beyond the green after hitting a cart path.

He chipped back over the green from there and couldn’t get up and down, carding a double-bogey 5.

Woods bounced back with consecutive birdies at the par-5 sixth hole and the par-3 seventh hole, where he dropped a 22-footer for birdie to get back under par on the round.

He finished the round with 11 consecutive pars, including at the par-5 18th hole where he crushed his tee shot but cost himself a birdie chance after hitting his second into a tough spot in a greenside bunker.

In the end he survived a classic U.S. Open grind, and he has to feel good about his chances to make a move Friday and position himself for a shot at major No. 16 come Sunday.

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