Tiger Takes Early Lead at PGA Championship

  • August 13, 2009, 4:19 PM

CHASKA, Minn. -- Missing the cut shouldn't be a problem for Tiger Woods at this major.

He was better than anyone else at the PGA Championship on Thursday morning, shooting a bogey-free, 5-under 67. He's one stroke ahead of playing partner and defending champ Padraig Harrington, with Phil Mickelson and the winners of the year's first three majors - Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink - playing in the afternoon.

"I feel pretty comfortable if I'm playing well," Woods said. "There are times I've put it together and had some pretty good margins of victory. I just feel that, overall, my game over the years has gotten better. It's become more consistent. When I'm playing well, I usually don't make too many mistakes."

He didn't on this day, breaking 70 in the opening round of a major for the first time since the 2007 British Open. He made birdies on all but one of Hazeltine National's long par 5s and hitting 12 of 14 fairways. His only "flaw" was a few missed putts, including ones for birdie on each of his last two holes.

"It's always nice to get off quick, but the first round - you can play yourself out of a tournament but you certainly cannot win it on the first day," said Woods, who has four Wanamaker Trophys among his 14 major titles.

"You don't have to be eight ahead after the first round, that's not it. You've just got to keep plodding along. ... The whole idea is not to make that many mistakes."

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