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Tiger Woods off to a shocker at Bethpage

Tiger Woods off to a shocker at Bethpage
© Reuters
The Masters champion started on the back nine alongside Brooks Koepka and Francesco Molinari.

Tiger Woods had to battle back from a nightmare start to his opening round as
the 101st US PGA Championship got under way at Bethpage State Park.

Fresh from winning his 15th major title at the Masters, Woods was among the early starters hoping to take advantage of ideal conditions on Long Island, but he immediately fell victim to one of the toughest holes on the fearsome Black Course.

Starting on the back nine alongside defending champion Brooks Koepka and Open champion Francesco Molinari, Woods missed the fairway on the 502-yard par-four and could only lay up around 80 yards short of the green.

From there the former world number one flew his approach over the green and, after chipping to four feet, missed the bogey putt to fall three shots behind Koepka, who holed a lengthy birdie putt from just off the green.

Woods was far from alone in finding the 10th hole a daunting proposition, Rickie Fowler also making a double bogey and Belgium's Thomas Pieters faring even worse with a seven after only being able to move his third shot a few feet from the heavy rough.

Pieters, who won a record four points on his Ryder Cup debut in 2016, also bogeyed the 11th, before dropping two more shots on the 515-yard 12th after finding a greenside bunker with his approach and three-putting from five feet.

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